NEW YORK — Former tennis star James Blake was tackled to the ground by five police officers outside his hotel Wednesday.
The 35-year-old, who was once ranked #4 in the world, was taken down because officers allegedly mistook him for someone else.
Blake was standing outside waiting for a car to take him to the Open, and he happened to be standing next to someone who had been arrested in connection with a credit card fraud operation. Officers allegedly though Blake was also part of the scam.
The Harvard graduate was only released from police custody when a former officer recognized him.
“That is James Blake, the tennis player.”
Blake said the first officer never apologized for the take-down.
“You’d think they could say, ‘Hey, we want to talk to you. We are looking into something.’ I was just standing there. I wasn’t running. It’s not even close (to be okay). It’s blatantly unnecessary,” Blake told the New York Daily News.
The NYPD released a statement about the incident,
“Once Blake was properly identified and found to have no connection to the investigation, he was released from police custody immediately.”
The ex-pro athlete said he initially didn’t want to speak about the incident, but then felt he had an obligation to broadcast another incident of police using excessive force.
“The real problem is that I was tackled for no reason and that happens to a lot of people who don’t have a media outlet to voice that to.”