James Frascatore, NYPD officer who tackled tennis star James Blake says his life’s now a ‘living hell,’ sues Blake.
Less than a week after his disciplinary trial came to a close, the NYPD officer who arrested and wrongfully tackled James Blake has announced that he plans on suing the retired tennis star, along with a host of other parties who allegedly wronged him.
Making his first public comments since the 2015 incident, Frascatore told the Post that the suit will name those who he believes worked to cast him as a “racist goon.” That includes the city; HarperCollins Publishers, which released Blake’s memoir; Civilian Complaint Review Board Director Tracy Catapano-Fox; and his own employer, the NYPD.
Frascatore plans on filing the suit in Manhattan federal court this week. He also maintains that he did nothing wrong in charging at Blake—an act of “brutal, unprovoked violence,” according to Civilian Complaint Review Board prosecutor Jonathan Fogel.
“People need to realize that, with the information I had at the time and the circumstances that presented themselves, it was the right call,” Frascatore told the tabloid.
The 40-year-old cop is currently on modified duty, pending the result of the disciplinary hearing. While Blake has repeatedly called for his termination, the Civilian Complaint Review Board only pushed for the NYPD to take 10 vacation days away from the embattled officer. The result of that verdict will likely remain hidden from the public, as the NYPD abruptly stopped sharing the outcomes of police disciplinary cases last year.
While the department has continued to withhold disciplinary records, both Blake and CCRB prosecutors have repeatedly highlighted Frascatore’s lengthy civilian complaint record, including a span of seven months in 2013 during which the officer racked up five civilian complaints. Last year, the city paid out $40,000 to a Queens man who accused Frascatore of punching and kicking him. Prior to the Blake incident, Frascatore had never been placed on modified duty.
According to Frascatore, the outcry sparked by the tackle has made his life miserable. He also told the Post that he purchased Blake’s book, Ways Of Grace, and became “very angry and upset while reading it.” In the book, Blake recounts how the NYPD initially claimed that Blake wasn’t manhandled, and only apologized after Blake managed to obtain surveillance footage of the incident from hotel security personnel.
Representatives for the CCRB, Blake, HarperCollins and the NYPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.