Connecticut man accused of berating smoothie shop staff is arrested
Spokesman from Merrill Lynch says Iannazzo no longer works for company
A Connecticut man has been accused of going off into a tirade inside a Fairfield smoothie shop that resulted in his arrest.
James Iannazzo, 48, is accused of cursing at the employees and at one point could allegedly be seen throwing a drink at a worker behind the counter in a purported video of the incident. Iannazzo could allegedly be heard calling one employee an "immigrant loser," Fox 61 reported.
Fairfield Police Sgt. Michael Stahl told NBC News that the Tik Tok appeared to be a screen recording of a video of the event and-- since it was not an original-- he could not "comment on the authenticity of it and cannot guarantee it has not been altered or edited in any way." Police did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from FOX Business.
Bill Halldin, a spokesman for Merrill Lynch, told Fox News: "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."
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Frank J. Riccio II, the lawyer for Iannazzo, released a statement to Fox 61 that said his client "wholeheartedly regrets the incident" that occurred on Saturday afternoon. He said his client "stressed" to the workers there that the beverage should not contain peanuts. His son had a severe allergic reaction, "which required transport via ambulance to the hospital."
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"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 said. "He is not a racist individual and deeply regrets his statements and actions during a moment of extreme emotional stress."
The New York Post reported that Iannazzo left the store prior to the police arrival and allegedly admitted to officers that he returned to the location after becoming upset about his son’s severe allergic reaction, according to police.
Workers said they were never informed about the peanut allergy. Iannazzo was charged with intimidation based on bigotry or bias, breach of peace and criminal trespass.