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NYPD Officer Who Tackled Tennis Star James Blake Won't Face NYPD Trial

By Trevor Kapp | May 15, 2017 11:26am
 James Frascatore, who tackled tennis star James Blake in a case of mistaken identity, has avoided a departmental trial.
James Frascatore, who tackled tennis star James Blake in a case of mistaken identity, has avoided a departmental trial.
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WNYC

MIDTOWN — The plainclothed NYPD officer who violently tackled former tennis star James Blake to the ground in September 2015 outside the Grand Hyatt hotel in a case of mistaken identity has reached a deal to avoid a public disciplinary trial, sources said.

Officer James Frascatore, 40, had been slated to begin his departmental trial at police headquarters Monday on charges that he roughed up Blake, an incident that prompted Mayor Bill de Blasio and then-Police Commissioner Bill Bratton to personally apologize to the ex-tennis great.

The terms of the settlement were not disclosed, according to The New York Times, which first reported the story.

The NYPD said that the administrative proceeding in the case is still ongoing.

James Blake Video
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NYPD

The Civilian Complaint Review Board would not confirm the settlement, citing confidentiality, but spokesman Edison Alban said that Monday's planned hearing had been postponed indefinitely.

Police officials said at the time that a courier had misidentified Blake as a participant in a credit card fraud ring. Blake told reporters he was finally released after being handcuffed for 15 minutes.

“We have determined as a result of the investigation ... that Mr. Blake had no role or involvement in the criminal investigation we were conducting and was totally innocent of any involvement," Bratton said at the time.

Frascatore was later stripped of his gun and badge and assigned to desk duty.

DNAinfo’s “On the Inside” reported in the weeks after the incident that Frascatore and the other officers involved were not likely to be fired, but that NYPD brass was irked because they did not file a proper report. Bratton and other top police officials learned of the incident through the media.

Frascatore later had a grueling and hostile sit down with the CCRB.

Reached by phone Monday, Blake's lawyer, Kevin H. Marino, declined to comment.