The NYPD officer who tackled and handcuffed retired tennis player James Blake has been placed on desk duty in the wake of his headline-generating mistake, the New York Times reports.
Blake, a former top-10 player, was accosted outside his hotel yesterday when the officer apparently mistook him for a suspect in a credit card fraud case. The NYPD’s explanation of the incident, via the Times:
According to that account, plainclothes officers were investigating a ring believed to be using fraudulent credit cards to buy cellphones, according to an official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the internal investigation into the episode involving Mr. Blake was continuing.
As part of the credit card investigation, the police had a private service deliver phones to a suspect at the hotel, the official said. Once the delivery took place, the suspect was arrested, the official said.
The delivery person then pointed out to the police two other people in the lobby to whom he said he had delivered phones the previous day.
Several officers were reportedly involved in handcuffing Blake in a takedown New York Police Commissioner William J. Bratton described as “very disturbing.”
(Still, Bratton later told the Times the real suspect “looks like the twin brother of Mr. Blake.”)