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Symbolic IO CEO Ignomirello arrested on assault charges

Symbolic IO, identified as one of SearchStorage’s storage startups to watch in 2017, now bears watching for different reasons than the other vendors on the list.

Brian Ignomirello, 46, the Symbolic IO founder and former CEO, has been arrested in New Jersey in connection with an alleged physical attack of his girlfriend.

As of Friday morning, Ignomirello was still listed as the Symbolic IO CEO on the company’s web page. However, his attorney, Mitchell Ansell, said Ignomirello is no longer with the company and the website no longer lists him on its leadership page. It’s not clear when Ignomirello left the company.

Ignomirello was taken into custody Wednesday on a bench warrant for outstanding arrest and violating a restraining order, said Charles Webster, a spokesman for the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. Webster did not provide further details. Colts Neck, New Jersey, police told Patch that a Monmouth County SWAT (Monmouth County Emergency Response Team) team was called in to grab Ignomirello.

A report in the Asbury Park Press, citing local law enforcement, said Ignomirello’s arrest stems from an incident in May in which he allegedly “knocked his girlfriend to the ground, kicked her and punched her in the face.”

Ansell, Ignomirello’s attorney, said Ignomirello was issued a summons for aggravated assault in relation to those charges. Ansell cited “vast technical violations” with the warrant that charged his client this week with violating a restraining order.

“To violate a restraining order, you have to have intent. I don’t think the allegation rises to the level of intent,” Ansell said.

Ansell disputed media reports that Ignomirello was armed and barricaded himself in his central New Jersey residence. “He was not armed and there never was a barricade,” Ansell said.

Arrest could throw startup into turmoil

Symbolic IO has won praise for its Intensified RAM Intelligent Server (IRIS) memory-based storage technology, but the charges against its founder and leader could throw the startup into turmoil.  Company officials have not yet commented publicly on the matter.

The Asbury Park Press cited a police report from a May incident in which Ignomirello’s girlfriend purportedly said he had “slapped her in the face before, causing her nose to bleed,” although she reportedly did not report that alleged assault to police.

The newspaper also reported that Ignomirello’s girlfriend received a restraining order against him approximately five years ago, but she subsequently had the order lifted. Ignomirello apologized to his girlfriend following the May incident, but she “told him to get away from her and that [she] didn’t want to talk to him,” according to the Press.

Symbolic IO came out of stealth in May 2016 with its “computational-defined” IRIS storage system, which it claims can shrink data stored in RAM by changing the manner in which binary bits get processed. SearchStorage named Symbolic IO to its list of storage startups to watch based on its technique for creating and recreating data as users request it.

Symbolic IO has received nearly $15 million in venture funding, including a $12.75 Series A round of seed capital in December 2014. Ignomirello is a serial entrepreneur. He filed a patent in May to develop a housing device designed to turn an automobile’s rearview mirror into an interactive computing device by displaying application images on a car’s windshield.

NOTE: This story was updated Friday afternoon with comments from Ignomirello’s lawyer.

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