A white man shown on a viral video violently confronting teenage workers with racist and sexist vitriol in a smoothie shop in Connecticut has been arrested and identified as a local wealth management adviser.
The video was being widely shared on social media Sunday morning and showed James Ianazzo inside a Robeks shop in the town of Fairfield angrily complaining about a smoothie he bought earlier, according to local reports. When the teenage workers were united in their resistance to his aggressive, expletive-laden bombast likely meant to intimidate them, Ianazzo resorted to racism.
It was an unfortunate episode that bore all the hallmarks of a classic Karen video in which white women look to weaponize their whiteness in order to get their way. This time around, though, the perpetrator ended up being the proverbial Karen’s husband.
But Ianazzo’s best attempt at Karening quickly fell flat when he met his match and then some in a group of Robeks employees who were not fazed by his furious F bombs and the derogatory and sexist names he kept calling them.
Ianazzo was angry because he said a smoothie he bought contained peanuts, which caused an allergic reaction from a child at his home who required hospitalization, according to local news outlet WFSB. After the child was taken to the hospital, Ianazzo returned to the Robeks and is shown trying to break into the “employees only” private area that is off-limits to customers and refused to leave despite the workers’ repeated pleas for him to go.
Ianazzo demanded the phone number to the corporate office and ended up throwing a smoothie at one of the workers before referring to another as an “immigrant loser.”
The person filming the video could be heard exclaiming in response, “You’re going to jail, you racist piece of sh*t!”
Those famous last words turned out to be true as Ianazzo was arrested and charged with intimidation based on bigotry or bias, breach of peace, and criminal trespass. He left Robeks before cops arrived but turned himself in later. He is due in court on Feb. 7.
There were no reports that Ianazzo was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but his mugshot featured a pair of glassy eyes that very well could have been caused by a river of white tears that failed to prevent his arrest and criminal charges.
Police said the workers claim Ianazzo never advised them of a peanut allergy and instead only asked that peanut butter not be used in the smoothie. It was not immediately clear if there were any peanut products in any of the smoothies Ianazzo bought.
Social media sleuths quickly jumped on the case to discover that Ianazzo works as a managing director and wealth management adviser for Merrill Lynch. His bio on the company website says he lives in Fairfield with his wife and three children.
Chances are that by the time Monday comes around and the company responds to Ianazzo’s arrest, that link to his bio — like him — may not be working anymore.
This is America.