US banker fired and charged after a racist tirade over a smoothie
A wealthy US banker has been fired from his job and charged with a hate crime after a video of him berating young staff in a smoothie shop has gone viral.
James Iannazzo, 48, threw a smoothie at a teenage employee before calling her a "f**king immigrant", all while other staff filmed his racist rant.
The bizarre encounter erupted after a visibly irate Mr Iannazzo returned to the store in Connecticut after an hour earlier ordering a smoothie that contained peanuts, which caused his highly allergic son to have a reaction and require hospitalisation, according to authorities.
According to a police report, Mr Iannazzo ordered the drink without peanut butter, but did not mention his son's allergy to the workers.
The video captured by an employee shows Mr Iannazzo demanding to know who made the original drink, before lashing out and calling the staffers “f**king stupid, f**king ignorant high school kids”.
He then allegedly called one of the workers a "f**king b***h" before hurling the drink at her, striking her shoulder.
Mr Iannazzo continued his expletive-ridden tirade before calling the employee he hit with the drink a "f**king immigrant".
The video was originally posted to TikTok and Twitter where it has amassed over 16 million views, and thousands of comments blasting the man's behaviour.
A spokesman for the man's employer Merrill Lynch told the New York Post that Mr Iannazzo was fired from the wealth management firm as a direct result of the incident.
“Our company does not tolerate behaviour of this kind. We immediately investigated and have taken action. This individual is no longer employed at our firm,” a statement said.
After initially fleeing the store before police arrived at the call of an employee, Mr Iannazzo later turned himself in.
He told a local news station that he freaked out after his son's reaction to the drink, causing him to return to the store.
“My son lost the capacity to breathe properly; his lips and face swelled up, and he required an EpiPen shot, but it did not offer him relief,” Mr Iannazzo told WTNH. “I called 911. My son then went to the bathroom, threw up and fell unconscious to the floor. He threw up again. My wife gave him another EpiPen while I called 911 again. Thank God, he is doing okay.”
“I was out of my mind with fear for him when I returned to Robeks, and I wish I had not done so,” Mr Iannazzo said. “I also wish they had been more careful preparing my son’s beverage. I will be extending my apologies personally to the Robeks organization, particularly the staff that was working there that night.”
“My actions at Robeks were wrong, and I deeply regret them. They do not reflect my values or my character. I feel terrible that I lost my composure so completely,” he said.
Mr Iannazzo has since been charged with intimidation based on bigotry or bias, breach of peace and criminal trespass.
Image credits: TikTok / Fairfield Police Department
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