Officer James Frascatore, 40, told The Post that he’s been unfairly characterized as a “racist goon,” insisting that he did nothing wrong and would, in fact, do it the same way again.
The officer, who’s on desk duty during an ongoing internal investigation, argues that his superiors threw him under the bus because Blake is a celebrity.
In addition to suing the former world No. 4 tennis player, Frascatore also named New York City, the NYPD, Civilian Complaint Review Board Director Tracy Catapano-Fox, and HarperCollins Publishers as defendants.
HarperCollins published a book that Blake coauthored, titled Ways of Grace, which recounts the incident. Frascatore told the newspaper that the book is slanderous and caused him emotional distress.
The arrest happened outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel Manhattan in Midtown Manhattan on Sept. 9, 2015. A video shows the officer suddenly rushing at Blake who was standing in front of the hotel. Without apparent warning or explanation, he knocked down Blake, 37, and put him in handcuffs.
Blake testified against Frascatore at an internal police disciplinary hearing in September. He said the officer failed to identify himself before the arrest. And after the police realized their mistake, none of the officers apologized.
After testifying, Blake, who believes he was racially profiled, said someone must be held accountable. He also urged police officials to fire Frascatore.
In his defense, Frascatore said Blake resembled a suspect who was likely armed. “People need to realize that, with the information I had at the time and the circumstances that presented themselves, it was the right call,” he told the newspaper.
The officer turned down a deal from police officials that would have resulted in a slap on the wrist. He chose instead to face the disciplinary court, which could recommend his termination from the police force.
SOURCE: New York Post