Video surveillance released on Friday of the mistaken arrest of James Blake shows a plainclothes police officer who has a history of excessive-force complaints grabbing the former tennis star by the arm and tackling him to the ground.Officer James Frascatore’s rough arrest of Blake outside a midtown Manhattan hotel on Wednesday prompted apologies from New York City’s mayor and police commissioner.Frascatore was the subject of four civilian complaints in a seven-month period of 2013, and he has been named in two federal civil rights lawsuits as being among a group of officers accused of beating, pepper spraying and falsely arresting two Queens men in separate incidents that year.The surveillance footage shows Blake standing against a silver post outside the Grand Hyatt New York when Frascatore approaches suddenly, grabs Blake, spins him around and throws him to the ground.Stephen Davis, the NYPD’s top spokesman, released the video Friday and said Blake was interviewed by internal affairs detectives Thursday night.Frascatore, who has four years on the force and previously worked as a police officer in Florida, was the officer who arrested Blake, a law enforcement official confirmed Friday. The official was not authorized to publicly discuss the case and spoke on condition of anonymity.The official said one of the complaints was exonerated, another dismissed, a third – for refusing to identify himself – was substantiated, and the status of the fourth was unclear.In a statement, Blake said that “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.”advertisementMayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton said in a statement that the city “extends deepest apologies to Mr. Blake” and that both the mayor and police commissioner “stand ready” to meet with Blake.”The 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,” they said.Bratton said earlier on Friday that investigators were reviewing the officer’s disciplinary record “understanding that some of those issues were exonerated.” He didn’t elaborate.A number listed for Frascatore, 38, wasn’t in service Friday and a spokesman for his union declined to comment on the claims. Patrick J. Lynch, head of the police officer’s union, said the officer was apprehending “what he had every reason to believe was an individual who had just committed a crime.”He said he regrets any embarrassment or injury suffered by Blake as a result, but the apprehension was made “under fluid circumstances where the subject might have fled, and the officer did a professional job of bringing the individual to the ground.”Frascatore’s four complaints to the Civilian Complaint Review Board, which investigates claims of police misconduct, are more than average for an officer. Three-fourths of the department has two or fewer complaints against them, according to the board’s data. The complaints against Frascatore were first reported by radio’s WNYC.In one of the federal lawsuits, Warren Diggs claims Frascatore and other officers arrested him in the driveway of his own home in January 2013 as he attempted to go inside to get his ID, hitting him on the head so hard he fell down and then pepper spraying him, court papers show. City lawyers are reviewing that case, a spokesman for the Law Department said.Four months later, Stefon Luckey claims Frascatore was among a group of officers who punched him, pepper-sprayed him and hurled racial epithets at him outside a Queens deli, the lawsuit said. Luckey’s lawyer, Philip Hines, said his client texted him after Frascatore’s name became public: “Everything done in the dark eventually comes to light.”Lawyers for the city “are in the early stages of litigation,” in that case, Law Department spokesman Nick Paolucci said.Blake, 38, was arrested after he was misidentified as being involved in a fraudulent credit card scheme that was using the hotel for deliveries, police have said.Blake had been ranked as high as No. 4 in the world and reached three Grand Slam quarterfinals. Before retiring after the 2013 US Open, he won 10 singles titles, most recently in 2007.Twice he reached the quarterfinals at the US Open, a hometown tournament that seemed to bring out his best play.
ESPN College GameDayAfter serving as the host of ESPN’s College GameDay for 25 years, Chris Fowler has moved on to focus on his duties as play-by-play announcer for ABC/ESPN’s prime time Saturday night games. While Rece Davis should fill in admirably, GameDay definitely won’t be the same. To pay tribute to Fowler, GameDay put together an amazing feature piece, narrated by Tom Rinaldi. After the piece, Fowler joined his old GameDay crew, and Davis, on stage. Things got pretty emotional when Fowler discussed his relationship with Lee Corso, who he spent all 25 years with on the show. He even gave Corso a kiss on the cheek.It is getting a bit dusty in here this morning. We’ll miss you, Chris.
For the past three weeks or so, we’ve been tracking the odds that the Kentucky Wildcats can pull off a truly remarkable feat: becoming the first men’s NCAA Division I basketball team to finish a season undefeated since Bob Knight’s Indiana Hoosiers did so in 1976. Since the Wildcats just beat the Florida Gators in their SEC Tournament matchup on Friday, we thought we’d update the odds1As a refresher, to compute these probabilities we plug Ken Pomeroy’s Pythagorean power ratings into the Log 5 formula, then simulate both the SEC Tournament and the most likely NCAA Tournament bracket (seeded according to the aggregate bracket projection found at BracketMatrix.com) 10,000 times apiece. to reflect their 32-0 record.Kentucky’s chances of going undefeated still aren’t quite 40 percent, much less 50-50. The Wildcats did enter the Final Four undefeated in about 66 percent of our simulations, but the biggest obstacles to their undefeated bid will likely await them in Indianapolis. Even if they make it to that point unscathed, their probability of joining the Hoosiers among the ranks of the unbeaten would be just a shade over 56 percent.Kentucky may be a mere eight wins away from immortality, but they still have a lot of work left to do.
Napoli Coach Carlo Ancelotti has described it an honour to have worked with John Terry in his latest tribute to the former England player following his retirement.Carlo Ancelotti had a successful stint at Chelsea, winning the Premier League and FA Cup in the 2009-10 season before being sacked the following summer after a trophyless campaign.Last night his skipper for those occasions, who made over 700 appearances for the Blues, announced his retirement and Ancelotti paid tribute on his Instagram page.“An honour to have had you as captain,” the Napoli manager wrote.“Wishing you much success in your future endeavours.”John Terry has been tipped to nail a managerial role in the next few months to come in the bid to replicate his success story.And most Chelsea fans will be hoping he gets the chance to manage his beloved club.