New York Daily News

Updated: September 11, 2015, 10:34 PM

  

 

Video shows James Blake takedown by NYPD cop James Frascatore; 'I know what happened to me is not uncommon': Blake

BY THOMAS TRACY, LAURA BULT, CORKY SIEMASZKO

Click here to watch video.

The NYPD released a hotel surveillance video that shows the vicious takedown of tennis great James Blake by a plainclothes police officer.

The startling footage shows an unsuspecting Blake leaning against a pillar and waiting for his ride to the U.S. Open when NYPD Officer James Frascatore suddenly rushes up and grabs him. 

Frascatore — looking like a malevolent Mr. Clean in a light-colored T-shirt and jeans — yanks the unresisting Blake down to the pavement and pins his arms back before cuffing him.

Then the officer stands Blake back up and marches him off — all within the span of less than a minute.

One woman is seen on the footage pointing at Frascatore as he holds Blake down with a knee but other passersby barely acknowledge the unfolding drama on the sidewalk outside the swanky Grand Hyatt hotel in Midtown.

Blake was released shortly after he was busted Wednesday and now Frascatore is riding a desk — minus his gun and badge— and facing an Internal Affairs investigation for allegedly arresting the wrong man during a sting operation.

In a statement, “did not identify himself as a member of law enforcement, ask my name, read me my rights, or in any way afford me the dignity and respect due every person who walks the streets of this country.”

“While I continue to believe the vast majority of our police officers are dedicated public servants who conduct themselves appropriately, I know that what happened to me is not uncommon,” Blake said.

Blake, suddenly the city's most famous victim of excessive force, got a rousing ovation when he was shown on the big screen inside Arthur Ashe Stadium Friday night as he watched the men's semifinal match between Rodger Federer and Stan Wawrinka. 

Since the story broke, both Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton called with “personal apologies.”

“I greatly appreciate those gestures,” said Blake, who plans on meeting with Bratton and de Blasio to talk about changing "the relationship between the police and the public they serve."

In a joint statement, de Blasio and Bratton once again extended their “deepest apologies to Mr. Blake.”

“This incident remains under investigation to determine what contributed to the errors made, who may be held accountable, and what we can learn to prevent these mistakes from being repeated in the future,” their statement said.

Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch continued to defend Frascatore’s takedown and said Blake was the victim of “mistaken identity.”

But Lynch also added: “We regret any embarrassment or injury suffered by Mr. Blake as a result."

Frascatore, a 38-year-old Long Islander who worked for a Florida police department before joining the NYPD four year ago, has previously been accused of using too much muscle.

He is a defendant in four ongoing civil cases that charge he and other officers used excessive force during false arrests. He also has at least five complaints lodged against him with the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

And he has a date with Internal Affairs investigators next week about Wednesday’s altercation with Blake.

“You only get one bite at the apple at things like this, so they want to get all the facts before they interview him,” a law enforcement source said. 

Only one of the CCRB investigations against Frascatore has been substantiated — a case in which he failed to identify himself properly and for which he was given a stern talking to.

“There are cops with a lot worse records than Frascatore on the streets,” the source said.

Based on his record, firing Frascatore “would be like firing someone because he was arrested for robbery three times, even though he was found not guilty three times.”

Stefon Luckey, a 35-year-old EMT who sued Frascatore and several other officers for allegedly beating and pepper-spraying him for no reason inside a Queens bodega, said the cop needs to find another line of work.

“I don’t think the police force is for him,” said Luckey, who suit is still pending. “He called me the N-word. He used excessive force for no reason, like he has a temper problem.”

Meanwhile, court records revealed that Blake took a beating for a pair of Brits who like the finer things in life — Cristal champagne, Louis Vuitton bags and high-end shoes from Barneys.

The shopping list of Jarmaine Grey, 26, and James Short, 27, was revealed after they were arraigned on grand larceny and identity theft charges — and given a Tuesday court date. Bail was set at $50,000 apiece, and they had to turn over their passports.

Prosecutors say the two suspects and a third unnamed accomplice stole more than $3,000 worth of goods by ordering items online and paying for them with stolen American Express credit card numbers.

Their alleged scheme was undone when a worker for the GoButler company told cops they made several suspicious deliveries to the trio at an address in the Meatpacking District.

Grey and Short were nabbed when police, with the help of GoButler, set up a sting that involved delivering some fancy shoes to the hotel.

Police contend Frascatore went after Blake after the GoButler courier identified him as a suspect. A company spokeswoman denied that.

“The police identified Blake as an individual who looked similar to one of the social media profiles used to purchase items via GoButler,” Bianca McLaren said in a statement. 

With Christian Red, Rachelle Blidner, Dareh Gregorian