The NYPD officer who slammed James Blake to the ground in a wrongful arrest plans to sue the former tennis player and the police department.
Officer James Frascatore was captured on video tackling Blake outside of a Manhattan hotel on Sept. 9, 2015, as he waited for a ride to that year’s U.S. Open. Frascatore was looking for a suspect accused of credit card fraud, and he doubled-down to The New York Post, saying he’d handle the situation the same way if it happened again.
“People need to realize that, with the information I had at the time and the circumstances that presented themselves, it was the right call,” Frascatore said. “I have a family to go home to. I’m on a crowded sidewalk, with a possibly armed suspect in the middle of 42nd Street. You have to take control of the situation. I can’t just be pulling out my gun.”
Frascatore’s lawyer told the Post the officer will file the suit, which will seek damages for emotional distress and slander, this week. It names Blake, the city, the NYPD, Civilian Complaint Review Board Director Tracy Catapano-Fox and HarperCollins Publishers as defendants. HarperCollins published Blake’s book, “Ways of Grace,” which mentions the incident, in June.
Frascatore, who has a history of excessive force complaints, allegedly was looking for a suspect that resembled Blake, but the lookalike was innocent, too. He recently completed an administrative trial for the Blake incident, and a decision is pending, per the Post.
Thumbnail photo via Derik Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports Images