TikTok video shows man’s racist tirade in Connecticut smoothie shop. He’s been fired

Twitter screengrab via @thatdaneshguy
·3 min read

Warning: The video linked within the article contains disturbing content and language.

A man’s racist tirade and verbal attack against smoothie shop employees was captured in a TikTok video that went viral.

He also threw a smoothie at one worker, who he called an “immigrant loser,” the video shows. Now, the man has been fired from his banking job as a result of the incident.

James Iannazzo, 48, of Fairfield, Connecticut, was arrested after turning himself in following his tirade at a local Robeks smoothie shop on Jan. 22, police said in a Jan. 23 news release. He told investigators he returned to the store after buying a smoothie and demanded to know who made it since it included peanuts and sent his child to the hospital with an allergic reaction.

“When employees could not provide Iannazzo with the answer he became irate, yelling at the employees using a number of expletives,” authorities said.

Iannazzo is charged with second degree intimidation based on bigotry or bias, second degree breach of peace and first degree criminal trespass, according to the news release.

Ianazzo’s lawyer Frank J. Riccio II issued a Twitter statement saying that his client “stressed to the staff that the product must not contain peanuts” and that his son “has a life-threatening peanut allergy,” on Jan. 23.

“When faced with a dire situation for his son, Mr. Ianazzo’s parental instinct kicked in and he acted out of anger and fear. He is not a racist individual and deeply regrets his statements and actions during a moment of extreme emotional stress.”

He was employed by Merrill Lynch as a financial adviser and has since lost his job, according to a company spokesperson.

“Our company does not tolerate behavior of this kind,” Merrill Lynch spokesperson Bill Halldin said in a statement to McClatchy News. “We immediately investigated and have taken action. This individual is no longer employed at our firm.”

The original TikTok video was viewed around 14 million times and was posted by one of the smoothie shop’s workers under the username @cjjbreezy, WTNH reported.

The video was taken down from the user’s account, but it already had been widely shared, including on Twitter where it’s been watched millions of times.

Police confirmed the employee who was hit by the drink Iannazzo threw was uninjured from it.

Ianazzo wouldn’t leave the Robeks and continued to yell despite being told to leave several times by the employees.

“Iannazzo then attempted to open a locked door that led to an ‘Employees Only’ area where the employees were, behind the counter,” police said.

He left before police arrived and later told them “he was upset about his son having a severe allergic reaction and he went back to the store as a result,” after turning himself in, the news release said.

The smoothie shop workers told investigators Iannazzo hadn’t raised concerns about his child’s peanut allergy and “only requested that there be no peanut butter in his drink.”

“As a person who has had multiple customer service jobs, I’ve dealt with people like this, I don’t think we get paid enough to deal with it all,” Gianna Miranda, the employee who was hit with the smoothie, told WTNH.

Iannazzo is due to appear in Bridgeport Superior Court on Feb. 7, according to police.

Fairfield is located 60 miles southwest of Hartford.

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