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Police: Former Tennis Star James Blake Handcuffed By NYPD After Being Misidentified

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Former tennis star James Blake was demanding an apology Wednesday night, after he was handcuffed by the NYPD in a case of mistaken identity.

Blake was detained by officers investigating an identity theft ring. But Blake was not connected to the fraud ring, and police said he was misidentified by an informant.

Detectives from the NYPD Identity Theft Task Force were investigating the purchase of cellphones using fraudulent credit cards Wednesday, and organized a controlled delivery of cellphones at the Grand Hyatt at 109 E. 42nd St., police sources told CBS2.

Sources: Former Tennis Star James Blake Handcuffed By NYPD After Being Misidentified

The phones were delivered to a male suspect, who was then arrested, sources said.

Afterward, the delivery person – who was working as an informant – identified two people in the lobby of the Hyatt to whom he had delivered fraudulently purchased cellphones on Tuesday, sources said.

The other two people were handcuffed on the spot, sources said.

But shortly afterward, a retired member of the NYPD told detectives that one of the people they had handcuffed was Blake, who was immediately released after confirming his identification, sources said.

The second person who was handcuffed alongside Blake was arrested, sources said. The man was not in Blake's company, sources said.

Sources: Former Tennis Star James Blake Handcuffed By NYPD After Being Misidentified

At the time, Blake had been waiting for a car to take him to the US Open in Queens, and had his US Open credentials with him.

Police released an official statement on the incident late Wednesday.

"Once Blake was properly identified and found to have no connection to the investigation, he was released from police custody immediately," the statement said. "In regards to the alleged improper use of force, the Police Commissioner directed the internal affairs bureau to investigate."

Meanwhile, there were allegations that Blake, who is black, was thrown to the ground by the white officers, D'Auria reported.

As CBS2's Jessica Schneider reported, Blake was shaken and stunned after the alleged takedown by the five undercover officers.

When asked if he had spoken to police as of late Wednesday, he said "not yet." But he was hoping that cameras captured the scene and said that he wanted an apology from the NYPD.

Several aspiring tennis pros outside the Hyatt on Wednesday night, couldn't believe Blake was subjected to this case of mistaken identity.

"That's a disgrace," Jake Delaney said.

Commissioner Bill Bratton addressed the allegations on NY1 on Wednesday.

"I immediately ordered Joe Resnick, deputy commissioner in charge of internal affairs to open an investigation," Bratton said. "Just the nature that he describes is not what we do. It's not what we're supposed to do."

Blake is a native of Yonkers, and retired after being eliminated at the US Open in 2013. He was a perennial fan favorite at the tournament.

No stranger to misfortune, a Tampa home that Blake was leasing out burned down in 2014 and four bodies were discovered inside.

Blake was planning a news conference for Thursday to address the situation, which he said had left him scarred.

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