A Connecticut based financial advisor has been arrested and subsequently lost his job after a video capturing him throwing a drink at a teenage employee and making racist threats went viral.
The man—later identified as 48-year old James Iannazzo of Fairfield, Connecticut—had purchased a smoothie for his son at a Robeks shop.
Roughly 30 minutes later, Iannazzo's son suffered an allergic reaction, resulting in Iannazzo calling 911 and his son being taken to a local hospital.
CBS New York reported on the story.
Believing his son's reaction was due to the smoothie he had purchased, Iannazzo angrily returned to the Robeks demanding answers.
His tirade was recorded by one of the Robek's employees and later shared on the Twitter page of popular social media whistleblower @thatdaneshguy.
WARNING: NSFW language
The video began with Ionazzo demanding to speak to the employee who made the smoothie he had purchased. When the staff told him they didn't know who made it, he referred to all the young female employees as "F*cking stupid, f*cking ignorant high school kids."
Ionazzo then demanded to speak to the manager, resulting in one of the young employees telling him he could call corporate, leading to Ionazzo referring to her as a "f*cking bi*tch".
Things then took a violent turn when Ionazzo threw his drink at one of the young employees, resulting in another employee announcing she was going to call the police.
But Ionazzo did not back down, making his way towards the back of the shop in an attempt to get behind the bar, ignoring an employee's demands to leave the shop.
Ionazzo then referred to one of the employees as a "f*cking immigrant loser."
The video ended with his attempt to make his way into the employees only section of the shop, with one of the young employees blocking the door to prevent him from coming in.
Ionazzo left the shop before the police arrived on the scene, but he was later identified. He turned himself in without incident according to a statement from the Fairfield Police Department.
Ionazzo was arrested and charged with Intimidation based on bigotry or bias in the second degree, breach of peace in the second degree and criminal trespass in the first degree.
Ionazzo blamed his behavior on his son's allergic reaction, but according to the police report—while he did request they don't put peanut butter in the smoothie he ordered—he did not inform the staff of any allergies.
When food industry workers are notified of an allergy additional precautions are taken.
Upon learning of the incident, Merrill Lynch—where Ionazzo worked as a financial advisor—immediately terminated his employment, saying in a statement:
"Our company does not tolerate behavior of this kind. We immediately investigated and have taken action. This individual is no longer employed at our firm."
In 2021, Ionazzo was ranked by Forbes as one of the top 25 highest net worth wealth advisors in Connecticut.
Twitter users were horrified by Ionazzo's behavior in the video, with people believing his firing was a worthy punishment, but not punishment enough.
Others applauded the Robeks staff for how they handled the situation, with many pointing out his son's allergic reaction was no excuse for Ionazzo's appalling behavior.
Ionazzo's attorney released a statement regarding the incident on Sunday:
"When faced with a dire situation for his son, Mr. Iannazzo'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."
Ionazzo' is currently scheduled for a court appearance on February 7 at Bridgeport Superior Court.