NYPD Commissioner Apologizes to Retired Tennis Star James Blake for Mistaken ID
The commissioner added the involved officer is under an internal review.
— -- New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton apologized to retired tennis star James Blake over the phone this afternoon after the former tennis star was thrown to the ground, handcuffed and detained by NYPD officers on Wednesday in a case of mistaken identity.
Bratton "got on the phone and apologized,” a police official told ABC News of Bratton’s conversation, which was further described as "good, productive."
Bratton had said earlier today at a news conference that he had wanted to "extend his apologies" to Blake but initially failed to reach him by cellphone.
The police official also identified the cop who arrested Blake as 38-year-old Officer James Frascatore. He has been placed on modified assignment pending an NYPD Internal Affairs investigation, Bratton said in a news conference earlier today.
Blake told Good Morning America earlier today that the first person he called after the incident was his wife, Emily.
"She said, ‘What if this happened to me?’ Blake told GMA today, of Emily. "Immediately, I was furious because I thought about what I would be thinking if someone did that to my wife, if someone tackled her in broad daylight, paraded her around in a busy, crowded sidewalk in New York City with handcuffs with her cuffed behind her back, and taking away her dignity. I couldn’t accept that."
The former tennis pro, 35, said he was standing outside midtown Manhattan's Grand Hyatt New York while waiting to be driven to the U.S. Open for a promotional appearance around noon Wednesday, when he looked up from his phone and saw someone in shorts and a T-shirt charging at him.
"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 said of the plainclothes NYPD officer. "The first words out of my mouth were, ‘I’m going to 100 percent cooperate. I don’t want any incident or whatever,’ just out of reaction from what I’ve seen in the media.
"At no time did he let me know he was a police officer. He just put the cuffs on me and said, 'Stand up,'” Blake said. "I asked what was going on and he said, 'We’ll tell you soon.'"
Four other cops then joined the officer who detained Blake. He was handcuffed for 15 minutes before the cops realized they had the wrong person and released him.