MANHATTAN — The police officer who tackled retired tennis star James Blake outside a Midtown hotel used excessive force, the Civilian Complaint Review Board ruled Wednesday.
Officer James Frascatore could also face an internal NYPD trial for throwing the former tennis pro to the ground outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel on 42nd Street on Sept. 9, according to the CCRB and police.
Frascatore, who has a history of misconduct, mistakenly believed Blake was a suspect in an identity theft case after a witness pointed him out, officials said.
The tackle, which was caught on tape that quickly went public, outraged many and led Blake to call for Frascatore's firing as well as apologies from Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton.
The review board's findings came as welcome news to Blake.
"I want to express my appreciation to the Civilian Complaint Review Board for their quick and thorough review of the incident where I was attacked," Blake said in a statement.
"I have complete respect for the principle of due process and appreciate the efforts of the CCRB to advance this investigation."
The NYPD said it had been alerted to the Board's ruling.
"The department's internal review is still ongoing," Stephen Davis, the NYPD's top spokesman, said in a statement.
Police advocates, however, were angered by the ruling.
"[Frascatore] used an acceptable technique to gain compliance during a complex ongoing operation in a manner that did not compromise the simultaneous arrest being made a short distance away," said police union president Patrick Lynch.
"An objective review of these facts will vindicate the officers involved."