Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland along with his gal pal and another women were stabbed outside the 1 OAK club in Manhattan early this morning according to the New York Post.
The Post reported that Copeland, 31, was arguing with his friend, Katrine Saltara, outside the nightclub around 4 a.m. when he spotted 22-year old suspect Shezoy Bleary apparently eavesdropping on their conversation.
Witnesses told police that Copeland and Bleary then got involved into a heated argument. As Saltara,28, tried to break up the argument, Bleary allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed Copeland in the stomach and slashed her in the breast, buttocks and arm.
Sources told the Post that another woman, who has been identified as 53-year old Catherine Somani, was also stabbed during the melee.
(The nightclub later emailed a statement to NEOMG, saying the argument didn’t start in or outside the club but in front of the Fulton Houses, a housing project down the street.)
A limo driver who witnessed the events flagged down nearby City Police, who rushed into make arrests.
The Pacers said in a statement that Copeland, who was hit in the left elbow as well as the abdomen, and Saltara are in stable condition at Bellevue Hospital. The other woman was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital.
“We are aware that Chris Copeland was injured early this morning in New York City,” Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird said in a statement. “We are still gathering information and will update when we know more. Our thoughts are with Chris and those injured.”
Bleary was taken into custody at the scene and charges are said to be pending. A knife was recovered at the scene.
Copeland has seen sparse playing time this season, appearing in just two of the Pacers’ last 10 games. He has appeared in 50 games overall this season, averaging 6.2 points and 2.2 rebounds in 16.6 minutes a game.
Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today has reported that two Atlanta Hawks, who were also at the club, were also arrested. Hawks’ power forward Pero Antic, 31, was charged with obstructing governmental administration, menacing and disorderly conduct. Guard Thabo Sefolosha was charged with resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct.
Indiana, which is a game out of the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, is in town to take on the Knicks tonight. The Hawks play the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night. Atlanta flew into New York following its record-setting 58th victory of the season — the Hawks defeated the Phoenix Suns (96-69) on Tuesday.
“We are aware of the situation involving Pero Antic and Thabo Sefolosha this morning,” Hawks vice president of public relations Garin Narain said. “We are in the process of gathering more information and will have further comment at the appropriate time.”
[photo by Andy Lyons/ Getty Images]