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Merrill Lynch adviser fired after racist tirade against smoothie shop employee

A Merrill Lynch financial adviser from Connecticut who was arrested for allegedly throwing a smoothie at a teenage employee — calling her a “f–king immigrant” — has been fired after footage of his racist rant went viral. James Iannazzo, 48, was arrested and charged with a hate crime following the chaotic scene at Robeks in Fairfield just before 2:30 p.m. Saturday, the Fairfield Police Department said. The wild encounter erupted after an irate Iannazzo returned to the store after earlier ordering a smoothie that supposedly contained peanuts, which caused his highly allergic son to have a reaction and require hospitalization, authorities said. According to cops, Iannazzo ordered the drink without peanut butter — but didn’t mention to employees that his son had an allergy. Video taken by one of the workers shows Iannazzo allegedly standing behind the counter repeatedly demanding to know who made the drink. Iannazzo lashes out and calls the staffers “f–king stupid, f–king ignorant high school kids” when they couldn’t tell him who had made it, according to the footage. He then allegedly called one of the workers a “f–king b—h” and hurled the drink at her, striking her shoulder. Iannazzo continued his expletive-ridden outburst before allegedly calling the female employee he struck with the drink a “f–king immigrant.” The video of the ordeal circulating on Twitter had been viewed more than 2.6 million times by early Monday. A spokesman for Merrill Lynch told The Post that Iannazzo was fired from the wealth management firm on Sunday as a result of the incident. “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,” a statement said. Iannazzo had been with Merrill Lynch since 1995 and his LinkedIn profile currently lists him as a managing director. The father turned himself in after initially fleeing the store before authorities arrived. He later admitted to police that he went back to the store after becoming upset about his son’s severe allergic reaction, according to authorities. Iannazzo’s attorney, Frank J. Riccio, said in a statement that his client had “stressed to the staff” that the drink couldn’t contain peanuts. “His son has a life-threatening peanut allergy. Upon drinking the Robeks smoothie, his son had a severe allergic reaction which required transport via ambulance to the hospital,” the statement said. “When faced with a dire situation, Mr. Iannazzo’s parental instinct kicked in and he acted out of anger and fear. He is not a racist and deeply regrets his statement and actions during a moment of extreme emotion.” Iannazzo was charged with intimidation based on bigotry or bias, breach of peace and criminal trespass.

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