NEW YORK — Outrage is growing with the release of new surveillance video that shows an NYPD officer tackling former tennis star James Blake in a case of mistaken identity.
Blake was standing outside a New York hotel Wednesday, on his way to the U.S. Open, when the officer ran up out of nowhere, grabbed Blake, then slammed him to the ground.
“He picked me up and body-slammed me and put me on the ground and told me to turn over and shut my mouth, and put the cuffs on me,” Blake told Good Morning America.
NYPD says officers were working a case on stolen credit cards and Blake fit the suspect description. He spent about 10 minutes on the ground handcuffed before police realized they had the wrong guy and let him go.
The former Olympian said he cooperated and tried to explain who he was and provide his identification but that his explanations were ignored.
“I’m shaken up,” Blake said. “A couple bumps and bruises, but all right.”
The New York Daily News has identified the officer as 38-year-old James Frascatore. Turns out, he’s a defendant in four civil cases that claim he and several other officers used excessive force during false arrests. He reportedly has also had five complaints against him with the Civilian Complaint Review Board.
“I spoke to Mr. Blake a short time ago and personally apologized for yesterday’s incident,” New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton said in a statement. “Mr. Blake indicated he would be willing to meet with the Internal Affairs Bureau as our investigation continues.”