Former Tennis pro James Blake was tackled, roughed up and handcuffed by five police officers outside his hotel in Manhattan, over a case of mistaken identity.
According to the New York Daily News, officers believed he met the description of someone running an identity theft ring.
Blake said he had just answered a few questions from a writer for a tennis magazine and was texting when he looked up and saw someone in shorts and a T-shirt charging at him, splitting the doorman outside the Hyatt, an official hotel for the U.S. Tennis Association.
“Maybe I’m naïve, but I just assumed it was someone I went to high school with or something who was running at me to give me a big hug, so I smiled at the guy,” Blake said. Blake said the officer, who he said was not wearing a badge, picked him up and threw him down on the sidewalk, yelled at him to roll over on his face and said, “Don’t say a word.”
Blake said he responded, “I’m going to do whatever you say. I’m going to cooperate. But do you mind if I ask what this is all about?”
An officer said, “We’ll tell you. You are in safe hands.”
Said Blake, “I didn’t feel very safe.”
Blake who is African-American, said he didn’t know if it was a case of racial profiling.