How a Random Instagram Pic Led to James Blake's Arrest

Misidentified suspect says the whole thing seems like a Seinfeld episode
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2015 4:07 PM CDT
How a Random Instagram Pic Led to James Blake's Arrest
This surveillance camera image shows former tennis star James Blake, right, being arrested by plainclothes officer James Frascatore outside of the Grand Hyatt New York hotel on Sept. 9, 2015.   (NYPD via AP)

Fresh off mistakenly apprehending former tennis star James Blake, things got even worse for police this week when it was revealed the suspect photo they were circulating was actually an Instagram picture of a former banker currently designing sunglasses in Australia, the New York Post reports. The photo of Sean Satha was provided to police by courier app GoButler, which was looking for whoever defrauded them of $18,000, according to ABC News. (The actual thieves apparently grabbed the photo off Satha's brother's Instagram account and used it on their GoButler account.) The photo was used for visual confirmation just before five officers tackled and cuffed Blake outside a hotel Sept. 9, the Post reports. "If you look at the photo ... it's a reasonable likeness to Mr. Blake," ABC reports NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce saying. "They look like twins."

Satha tells ABC he disagrees; even if the two do look alike, though, neither was actually a suspect, which Satha says authorities should have been able to figure out by investigating the photo a bit further. “I don’t appreciate being referred to as a suspect or thief in any capacity,” Satha says in a blog post yesterday. “I feel like I have been a victim of identity theft—by the media and the police.” Satha—after watching video of Blake's violent apprehension—called officers' behavior "outrageous." But he's is trying his best to handle the whole thing with a sense of humor, telling ABC it sounds like an episode of Seinfeld. “I can only assume there was a citywide manhunt for tall, dark, and handsome males—which is why James Blake and I became targets,” he says on his blog. (More James Blake stories.)

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