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Fairfield man accused of using racial slurs at smoothie shop after son suffers allergic reaction

By Olivia Kalentek, Kevin Hogan

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    FAIRFIELD, Connecticut (WFSB) — A Fairfield man was arrested after yelling and throwing a smoothie at Robeks employees on Saturday.

The rant was caught on camera by an employee:

According to police, the man identified as James Iannazzo made a purchase at a Robeks on 2061 Black Rock Turnpike around 1:05 pm. Iannazzo made the purchase and left without incident according to police.

Iannazzo called 911 around 1:39 p.m. and requested emergency services to his home for a juvenile suffering from an allergic reaction. Police said the juvenile was transported to an area hospital.

According to police, Iannazzo returned to the Robeks a short time later and confronted employees. Police said Iannazzo yelled at employees and demanded to know who made the smoothie that contained peanuts, which caused the juvenile’s allergic reaction.

Officials said when Robeks employees could not provide Iannazzo with an answer, he became irate and started cursing and throwing things at employees. Iannazzo allegedly threw a drink at an employee which hit their right shoulder. The employee did not report any pain or injury after the incident.

According to police, Iannazzo made comments towards an employee referencing their immigration status.

Iannazzo was asked to leave multiple times by Robeks employees. However, police said Iannazzo did not leave the establishment and continued to yell at employees.

Iannazzo then attempted to open a door that led to an “Employees Only” area but could not get in because the door was locked.

According to police, the man left before they arrived, but he later turned himself in without incident.

Police said Iannazzo told officers he was upset that his son had a severe allergic reaction and then went back to the store because of it.

According to police, employees reported Iannazzo never mentioned a peanut allergy, but had only asked that there be no peanut butter in his drink.

Iannazzo was charged with intimidation based on bigotry or bias, breach of peace, and criminal trespass.

Charli Hill is a high schooler and an employee of Robeks.

She said she took a video of the incident, which went viral:

“He started to call her racial slurs. He threatened to kill us multiple times,” Hill told Channel 3. “I understand and we are sorry on behalf of Robeks for how the smoothie was made, but it gives you absolutely no right to act out like that.”

Gianna Miranda said she was the teen who was hit by the smoothie.

“It was kind of scary, I’m not going to lie because I’m like ‘I don’t know his intention or what he was going to do,'” Miranda said.

Merrill Lynch, where Iannazzo was employed, issued a statement to Channel 3.

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.

Iannazzo’s attorney, Frank J. Riccio II, also posted a statement:

Iannazzo’s court date is scheduled for Feb. 7 at Bridgeport Superior Court.

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