Tennis star James Blake wrongly nabbed by cops on way to US Open

Posted on September 9, 2015


by John DA, editing by Adam MS

Former tennis star James Blake was thrown to the ground and handcuffed by plainclothes NYPD officers in a case of mistaken ID outside the Grand Hyatt hotel in Midtown on Wednesday as he was headed to the US Open, according to Blake and police sources.

“It’s been a very hectic and crazy day,” Blake told The New York Post, confirming that he was slammed to the ground by the officers.

The 35-year-old African American, who was once ranked as high as No. 4 in the world, was confronted around noon at the hotel on East 42nd Street by the police officers who were investigating individuals who purchased cell phones with fraudulent credit cards, the sources said.

A delivery was made to the hotel Tuesday for three cell phones purchased with a phony credit card, sources said. When the cell phone company realized the credit card was fake they notified authorities.

Detectives from the Identity Task Force had set up a controlled delivery at the hotel for Wednesday.

When the goods arrived, cops arrested the prime suspect on spot, the sources said. The delivery man then pointed out two others standing nearby in the hotel lobby who he claimed he delivered the fraudulently purchased cell phones the day before.

One of them was Blake, who was first tackled and then pinned against a wall by the cops.

“The plainclothes cops got him against the wall and they handcuffed him,” said Kevin Tucker, 58, who works at a shoe shine stand next to the hotel. “There were five cops eventually. He was in handcuffs against the wall for at least a half hour.”

A retired NYPD detective at the scene informed the detectives that one of the individual’s they arrested was Blake, sources said.

“Once Blake was properly identified and found to have no connection to the investigation, he was released from police custody immediately,” an NYPD spokesman said.

The officers arrested the second individual that was pointed out by the delivery man.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has directed the internal affairs bureau to investigate the alleged improper use of force, the spokesman said.

The Hyatt is an official hotel for the U.S. Tennis Association.

Blake, who grew up in Fairfield, CT, arrived in the city early Wednesday.

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