Former No. 4 player in the world James Blake was “slammed to the ground, handcuffed and detained” by New York police Wednesday after they mistook Blake for an identity theft suspect, reports the New York Daily News.
The incident took place in front of Blake's hotel. Blake told the Daily News he looked up from his phone and saw someone charging him. According to Blake, the man, a plainclothes officer, picked Blake up and threw him to the sidewalk.
Blake said soon five officers were surrounding him, claiming he had been identified as someone involved in an identity-theft ring operation. Blake said he was handcuffed for about 15 minutes before the last arriving officer realized they had the wrong person.
“Maybe I'm naïve, but I just assumed it was someone I went to high school with or someone who was running at me to give me a big hug, so I smiled at the guy,” Blake said of the man who charged him.
According to the Daily News, Blake is publicizing the incident to highlight another example of excessive policing.
“I have resources to get to the bottom of this. I have a voice,” Blake said. “But what about someone who doesn't have those resources and doesn't have a voice?”
Blake, who is in New York City for the U.S. Open, eventually made his way to the tournament.
– Rohan Nadkarni