Former Tennis Pro James Blake Says He Was Roughed up by NYPD after Being Mistaken for Suspect
Blake was arrested in the lobby of the Hyatt Hotel in New York, on his way to the U.S. Open
Blake is accusing at least five plainclothes police officers of tackling and handcuffing him outside his hotel in Manhattan, the New York Daily News reports. The 35-year-old was reportedly waiting for a car to take him to the tournament when the incident occurred.
The police department said his detainment came as a result of a witness wrongly identifying Blake in an ongoing investigation regarding the purchase of cell phones with fake credit cards.
“Once Blake was properly identified and found to have no connection to the investigation, he was released from police custody immediately,” the NYPD said in a statement, the New York Post reports.
According to the New York Daily News, the former No. 4 tennis player in the world suffered minor injuries, including a cut on his elbow and bruises on his leg.
“There’s no reason for anybody to do that to anybody,” Blake told the newspaper. “I was just standing there. I wasn’t running. It’s not even close [to being okay]. It’s blatantly unnecessary.”
The NYPD’s statement addressed Blake’s claims of excessive force, saying that “the Police Commissioner directed the internal affairs bureau to investigate.”
A post on Blake’s Facebook page said he will most likely address the incident on Thursday.