James Frascatore plans to sue Blake and the department for emotional distress.
The NYPD officer who slammed ex-tennis pro James Blake to the ground outside a Manhattan hotel in 2015 plans to file a lawsuit against Blake and the department, he told the New York Post.
James Frascatore will file a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court this week naming Blake, the city of New York, the NYPD, the director of the department’s civilian complaint review board and HarperCollins, the publishing house behind Blake’s book. Blake discussed the incident in his book Ways of Grace, released in June.
The suit will seek damages for emotional distress and slander, claiming Frascatore was portrayed as a “racist goon” in the aftermath of the incident.
Frascatore was staking out the hotel in Sept. 2015, waiting on an alleged credit card scammer when he saw Blake waiting outside for a ride to the U.S. Open. Believing Blake was the suspect, Frascatore ran up and tackled him to the ground before putting the retired tennis star in handcuffs. Frascatore, who has a history of excessive force complaints, claims he did everything by the book.
“I have a family to go home to. I’m on a crowded sidewalk, with a possibly armed suspect in the middle of 42nd Street,” he told the Post. “You have to take control of the situation. I can’t just be pulling out my gun.”
Frascatore’s internal review trial wrapped up last week but the outcome of the trial is not a matter of public record.