Greater Danbury Area Reacts to Alleged Hate Crime Incident at Fairfield Smoothie Shop
It was the talk of Connecticut, but the story has gone viral and become a discussion all over America since a video of an incident at a Fairfield smoothie shop (Robeks) caught fire.
According to Fairfield Police, 48 year old James Iannazzo of Fairfield was arrested Saturday (1/22/22) and charged with a variety of offenses including breach of peace and criminal trespass and intimidation based on bigotry or bias.
Police say Iannazzo threw a smoothie at an employee and called the victim an "immigrant loser." Iannazzo was reportedly upset that the staff had served his son a beverage with peanut butter flavoring in it. The son is allergic to peanuts, and reportedly suffered from a reaction that required attention from EMS.
Iannazzo was arrested after turning himself in, and issued a statement of regret through his lawyer. Police say, employees told them that Iannazzo did not tell the staff that his son is allergic to peanuts. James Iannazzo has been fired from his job at Merrill Lynch.
WARNING - Video contains unedited profanity
We've been discussing this issue at great length. The listener mail began coming in right away via text message, Instagram and Facebook comments. These are some of the texts we received on Monday and Tuesday:
"Technically this guy DID NOT make a racial slur. He did not reference their race. (Caucasian, African or Asian) nor did he reference their ethnicity.
Although his remark was inappropriate, as were his actions, they are NOT a “racist” crime."
Tabitha - New Milford
"Because of the way he was acting I find it hard to believe he wouldn’t have told whoever he gave the order to that he didn’t want peanut butter in the smoothie because his son is allergic to it. It doesn’t matter how old the girls were they still should know there job and what can and cannot be taken out of a specific order. That’s the same as if he went to any food place and said I don’t want onions on my burger, for a example."
Denise - Brookfield
Bunch of kids working there.
Why would you take a chance if your son was highly allergic and could die."
"I don’t even need to hear the details of this smoothie thing. These kids that work at these places almost never care to pay attention and orders are always wrong. Their heads are always up their a---- or on TikTok"
"Both my daughter's have allergies. The guy is an ass. We avoid this s--- by not going to these places. Plain and simple."
"1. He should have mentioned that his kid has a nut allergy. The employee would have clarified the drink order.
2. All of the drinks @ Robeks list their ingredients. He shouldn’t have ordered something w/ peanut butter.
3. It is inexcusable to blurt out any type of slur.
4. Hurling a drink at another human being is criminal."
"Doesn’t justify his action Lou the girl said he never asked or said anything about a peanut allergy."
"Wait a minute though, there are clear recipe options on the menu listed above register. If you take the time to look it will clearly state what’s in it so if you for example ask for a power smoothie the ingredient list is on the board above. Why would you order without considering that first? Or ask? Plus any allergies should probably be said FIRST before ordering."
This reminds me of something my wife always tells me about my anger. She says, if your angry reaction goes too far, it doesn't matter whether you were right of wrong to begin with, people are not going to want to hear your side of the story. I think that is what we have here. The guy did things that are inexcusable so no one wants to hear it.
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