NYPD cop who tackled tennis star James Blake has been sued 4 times for excessive force
He’s a repeat offender.
The hard-charging NYPD officer who body-slammed tennis star James Blake outside a Manhattan hotel has been sued four times for roughing up suspects during arrests, documents show.
Officer James Frascatore, on the force for four years, is a defendant in four ongoing civil cases that charge he and other officers used excessive force during false arrests.
The 38-year-old Long Island resident has also had at least five complaints lodged against him with the Civilian Complaint Review Board.
And he has a date with Internal Affairs investigators next week about Wednesday’s altercation with Blake — an incident that resulted in him being reassigned to desk duty and having his gun and shield lifted.
“You only get one bite at the apple at things like this, so they want to get all the facts before they interview him,” the source said.
The NYPD is aware of only three CCRB investigations against Frascatore, the source said. And only one of them was partially substantiated — a case in which he failed to identify himself properly and for which he was given a stern talking-to.
“There are cops with a lot worse records than Frascatore on the streets,” the source said.
Based on his record, firing Frascatore “would be like firing someone because he was arrested for robbery three times, even though he was found not guilty three times,” the source said.
Frascatore was hit with his first lawsuit in 2013 for an incident that allegedly happened a year earlier when he pulled over Leroy Cline in Queens and demanded his identification but would not say why.
“He completely ignored me and said, ‘License, registration,’” Cline told WNYC last year. “I said, ‘Officer, what am I being pulled over for?’”
“That’s when he opened my car door and gave me three straight shots to the mouth.”
Frascatore told a different story. In a counter-suit, he claimed Cline attacked him and bit his fist. He said he sustained "permanent" injuries while trying to arrest him.
Frascatore "became sick, sore, lame and disabled…(and) has been permanently injured," the lawsuit states.
The officer’s complaint was filed in June — three months before he allegedly threw Blake to the ground on Wednesday without identifying himself as a cop outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel.
Frascatore was also sued for a January 2013 altercation during which he and two other officers arrested Warren Diggs and pinned him to the ground for riding his bike on the sidewalk.
In a complaint filed in August, Diggs claims he suffered a concussion when the cops beat on him while he lay on the ground.
Diggs was charged with pot possession and resisting arrest and his girlfriend, Nafeesah Hines, was arrested for tampering with evidence. Their criminal case was later dismissed.
Frascatore and the other cops lied under oath about what happened, Diggs claimed in his complaint. Hines sued the city for false arrest and settled her case out of court for $22,500.
The awful altercation between Stefon Luckey, a 35-year-old EMT, and the cops was caught of surveillance video obtained by The Daily News.
Luckey, who was thrown in cuffs and was later released without charges, later sued in Brooklyn Federal Court alleging the officers submitted “false statements” about what happened “in an effort to cover up and/or conceal their unlawful conduct.”
Reached on Friday, Luckey said he wasn’t surprised to find out Frascatore was the cop who tackled Blake.
“I don't think the police force is for him,” he said. “He called me the N-word. He used excessive force for no reason, like he has a temper problem.”
Luckey said Frascatore should consider another line of work.Luckey talked briefly about his case against Frascatore.
"He needs to resign and find something else to do," he said. "I don't wish no jail time on him, but something needs to be done."