Robeks worker claims fired Merrill Lynch banker ‘threatened to kill us’ during racist rant 


A Robeks worker who was branded a ‘f**king immigrant loser’ and was struck with a smoothie by an irate Merrill Lynch financier who threw a racist tirade at her workplace has said she feared his intentions when he stormed in the store on Saturday. 

‘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,’ 18-year-old Gianna Miranda, who works part-time at the Robeks in Fairfield, Connecticut, told local news station WFSB. 

Gianna and two coworkers were the target of 48-year-old James Iannazzo’s racist tirade after a smoothie he had purchased at the store, which ‘contained peanut butter’, caused his son a severe anaphylactic reaction.  

Iannazzo’s fit of rage was recorded and posted on Tiktok by Charlie Hill, who called 911 while Gianna attempted to make Iannazzo leave the store. 

‘He started to call her racial slurs. He threatened to kill us multiple times,’ Hill, who is 17 according to the social media platform, told WFSB. ‘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.’  

Death threats were not recorded on video. Iannazzo was arrested on charges of intimidation based on bias, breach of peace and criminal trespass on Saturday, before being released. 

Merrill Lynch – where Iannazzo had worked since 1995, most recently as a wealth management director – terminated him after the clip was widely-shared online. 

Iannazzo told DailyMail.com Monday that he regretted his actions and that he lost his temper ‘because [his] 17-year-old son was taken to the hospital suffering from life threatening anaphylactic shock.’ 

The Robeks employees said that Iannazzo had asked for no peanut butter in the smoothie, but never mentioned an allergy. 

Robeks employees Gianna Miranda, 18, (left) and Charlie Hill, 17, (right) were the target of 48-year-old James Iannazzo's racist tirade after a smoothie he had purchased at the store, which 'contained peanut butter', caused his son a severe anaphylactic reaction

Robeks employees Gianna Miranda, 18, (left) and Charlie Hill, 17, (right) were the target of 48-year-old James Iannazzo’s racist tirade after a smoothie he had purchased at the store, which ‘contained peanut butter’, caused his son a severe anaphylactic reaction

Iannazzo was arrested on charges of intimidation based on bias, breach of peace and criminal trespass after his racist tirade at a Robeks was caught in video

Iannazzo was arrested on charges of intimidation based on bias, breach of peace and criminal trespass after his racist tirade at a Robeks was caught in video

 Iannazzo was arrested on charges of intimidation based on bias, breach of peace and criminal trespass after his racist tirade at a Robeks was caught in video

Gianna also told Channel 12 that she did not know wether the smoothie had peanut butter or not, but that nothing excused Iannazzo’s behavior. 

‘I’ve seen [racism] on social media, but to experience it first-hand, like I just felt disrespected,’ she told the outlet. 

‘Next to our register we have a thing that says to let us know if you have any allergies to nuts because we have special blenders and stuff we use for people who do have nut allergies,’ Gianna added. 

‘I can’t say it did or didn’t have peanut butter in it…It could have been cross-contaminated.’  

Meanwhile, the disgraced former Merrill Lynch financier, who was ranked the 24th best wealth advisor in Connecticut by Forbes in 2021, has been slammed with one-star ratings on Google by furious reviewers. 

‘I would rate zero stars if I could. Enjoy being in the unemployment line while the ‘immigrants’ are out here actually earning their money,’ a person commented online.

Others called out Iannazzo and called him a ‘terrible guy’ for abusing his power as an adult and yelling at the young Robeks workers. 

‘So wish I was there to help. What a big man, yelling at 3 or 4 school girls,’ one reviewer wrote.      

Fairfield Police say Iannazzo, who lives in a $2.64m five-bed, five-bath colonial-style mansion in South Pier, Connecticut, purchased the smoothie at the store around 1pm and left without incident.   

Less than an hour later, things took a turn for the worse and Iannazzo was on the phone with 911 for his 17-year-old son who was suffering from life-threatening anaphylactic shock after drinking the smoothie. He said it was the stress of that medical emergency that tipped him over the edge.

Robeks haven’t admitted to prepping the drink with a nut product, but Iannazzo is adamant that the drink triggered the reaction.

The disgraced former Merrill Lynch financier, who was ranked the 24th best wealth advisor in Connecticut by Forbes in 2021, has been slammed with one-star ratings on Google by furious reviewers

The disgraced former Merrill Lynch financier, who was ranked the 24th best wealth advisor in Connecticut by Forbes in 2021, has been slammed with one-star ratings on Google by furious reviewers

The disgraced former Merrill Lynch financier, who was ranked the 24th best wealth advisor in Connecticut by Forbes in 2021, has been slammed with one-star ratings on Google by furious reviewers

Others called out Iannazzo and called him a 'terrible guy' for abusing his power as an adult and yelling at the young Robeks workers

Others called out Iannazzo and called him a 'terrible guy' for abusing his power as an adult and yelling at the young Robeks workers

Others called out Iannazzo and called him a ‘terrible guy’ for abusing his power as an adult and yelling at the young Robeks workers

'Disgusting behavior,' a reviewer wrote

'Disgusting behavior,' a reviewer wrote

‘Disgusting behavior,’ a reviewer wrote 

In 2021, Iannazo was ranked the 24th best wealth advisor in Connecticut by Forbes, Blaze media reported

In 2021, Iannazo was ranked the 24th best wealth advisor in Connecticut by Forbes, Blaze media reported

In 2021, Iannazo was ranked the 24th best wealth advisor in Connecticut by Forbes, Blaze media reported

In a statement shared with DailyMail.com, Iannazzo said: ‘I had returned to Robek’s to determine what ingredients were in the smoothie that I had previously ordered. I made my regrettable comments because my 17-year-old son was taken to the hospital suffering from life threatening anaphylactic shock. 

‘He collapsed at our home while drinking the smoothie from Robek’s, which contained some sort of nut product, after I had advised them of his nut allergy when I ordered his drink.’ 

He added: ‘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.

‘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.’

Iannazzo then returned to Robeks and confronted employees, demanding to know the ingredients of the smoothie and who made it. 

According to his LinkedIn profile and public records, Iannazzo is married and lives with his wife and three children in an estimated $2.64million home in the Southport section of Fairfield

According to his LinkedIn profile and public records, Iannazzo is married and lives with his wife and three children in an estimated $2.64million home in the Southport section of Fairfield

According to his LinkedIn profile and public records, Iannazzo is married and lives with his wife and three children in an estimated $2.64million home in the Southport section of Fairfield

Iannazzo has since been fired from his position as wealth advisor and director at Merrill Lynch Management, where he had been working since 1995

Iannazzo has since been fired from his position as wealth advisor and director at Merrill Lynch Management, where he had been working since 1995

Iannazzo has since been fired from his position as wealth advisor and director at Merrill Lynch Management, where he had been working since 1995

Attorney Frank Riccio, who is representing Iannazzo, said his client was not racist but his 'paternal instinct' had kicked in

Attorney Frank Riccio, who is representing Iannazzo, said his client was not racist but his 'paternal instinct' had kicked in

Attorney Frank Riccio, who is representing Iannazzo, said his client was not racist but his ‘paternal instinct’ had kicked in

He was caught on camera roaring: ‘I want to speak to the person who made this f**king drink. Is that you?

‘You don’t know who made it? Stupid f**king ignorant high school kids. I want to speak to the f**king manager. Get the f**k out of here you f**king bitch. Give it to me now.’

At that point, he hurled the drink, which hit Gianna and spilled all over her, before staff told him to leave while calling the police.

Iannazzo continued: ‘ ‘F**k you, you f**king bitch. I want the telephone, right now. Shut the f**k up, you f**king stupid (inaudible). I want the f**king phone. Shut up.

‘You f**king immigrant loser. I want the f**king telephone.’   

Iannazzo then returned to Robeks and confronted employees, demanding to know the ingredients of the smoothie and who made it

Iannazzo then returned to Robeks and confronted employees, demanding to know the ingredients of the smoothie and who made it

Iannazzo then returned to Robeks and confronted employees, demanding to know the ingredients of the smoothie and who made it 

Full rant of dad arrested and fired over smoothie shop meltdown 

 ‘I want to speak to the person who made this f**king drink. Is that you?

‘You don’t know who made it? Stupid f**king ignorant high school kids. I want to speak to the f**king manager. Get the f**k out of here you f**king bitch. Give it to me now.’

(Hurls drink which strikes worker, prompting screams from staff and order to leave from female worker)

 ‘F**k you, you f**king bitch. I want the telephone, right now. Shut the f**k up, you f**king stupid (inaudible). I want the f**king phone. Shut up.

‘You f**king immigrant loser.

‘I want the f**king telephone.’ 

He has instructed a lawyer, although has yet to say if he’ll sue over the peanut incident, but also conceded that his behavior went too far.

Iannazzo added: ‘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.’  

A Robeks spokesman has issued a condemnation of Iannazzo’s behavior, but has yet to confirm that staffers had added peanut butter to the drink.  

The enraged man also attempted to breach the employee-only entrance to the back of the store as the young workers struggled to keep the door closed.  

Iannazzo left the store before police arrived but turned himself to authorities later on Saturday, police said. He was released and is scheduled for a court hearing early February.  

‘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,’ the company said in a statement after the video became viral.   

‘I was out of my mind with fear for him when I returned to Robeks, and I wish I had not done so,’ Iannazzo said afterwards. ‘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.’ 

The footage, which was posted on TikTok by @cjjbreezy, was recorded by one of the young girls working at the store, after Iannazzo stormed inside demanding to know who was responsible for adding peanut butter to his smoothie order

The footage, which was posted on TikTok by @cjjbreezy, was recorded by one of the young girls working at the store, after Iannazzo stormed inside demanding to know who was responsible for adding peanut butter to his smoothie order

'You're a f***** immigrant loser,' Iannazzo says to one of the girls, just moments after he hurled the smoothie at her, hitting her with it on the shoulder

'You're a f***** immigrant loser,' Iannazzo says to one of the girls, just moments after he hurled the smoothie at her, hitting her with it on the shoulder

The footage, which was posted on TikTok by @cjjbreezy, was recorded by one of the young girls working at the store, after Iannazzo stormed inside demanding to know who was responsible for adding peanut butter to his smoothie order

The incident happened at the 2061 Black Rock Turnpike store in Fairfield, Connecticut

The incident happened at the 2061 Black Rock Turnpike store in Fairfield, Connecticut

The incident happened at the 2061 Black Rock Turnpike store in Fairfield, Connecticut 

Exposure to peanuts can kill allergy sufferers in minutes 

Peanut allergies are one of the best-known types of food intolerance. 

An allergic person who is exposed to peanuts can develop anaphylaxis, which can cause potentially-deadly symptoms including swelling in the throat, a sudden drop in blood pressure, fainting and dizziness.

Anaphylaxis is usually treated initially with a shot of adrenaline administered by an EpiPen. 

An estimated 2.5 per cent of American children are believed to suffer from a peanut allergy.

(Source: ACAAI) 

During his more than two-decade career at Merrill Lynch, Iannazzo had become well-known as one of the top financial advisors in the area.

Iannazzo was charged with one felony and two misdemeanors and was released pending his court appearance. 

If convicted for those charges, he could face a sentence of up to six years in prison and $6,000 in fines. Iannazzo is scheduled to appear in court on February 7 at Bridgeport Superior Court.   

Gianna said in a video update to the incident that Iannazzo hadn’t been charged with assault because nobody had been hurt, but that she would be pressing charges. 

Attorney Frank Riccio, who is representing Iannazzo, said his client was not racist but his ‘paternal instinct’ had kicked in.  

A statement from Riccio on Twitter said: ‘Upon drinking the Robeks smoothie, his son had a severe allergic reaction which required transport via ambulance to the hospital.’

‘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.’  



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