NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland and his girlfriend, Katrine Saltara, were stabbed during an early-morning confrontation outside a nightclub in Chelsea.
Copeland was stabbed in the abdomen, police said. He is likely out for the rest of the season, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
Saltara was stabbed in the arm and slashed across the chest and buttocks, police said.
The alleged assailant, 22-year-old Shevoy Bleary Murdock, has been arrested and charged. Murdock, of Brooklyn, faces charges of assault and criminal possession of a knife.
He was hauled out of the 10th Precinct stationhouse while still wearing his fashionable clubbing clothes late Wednesday.
Police said Murdock also accidentally stabbed his own girlfriend when she tried to break up the fight, Gold reported. She was treated at a hospital for minor injuries.
Police said a knife was recovered.
Two members of the Atlanta Hawks — Thabo Sefolosha and Pero Antic — were also taken into custody for allegedly obstructing the crime scene at 1 OAK on West 17th Street.
Police said the two refused to leave the scene after multiple commands to move. One of them allegedly pushed and kicked a police officer, CBS2’s Ilana Gold reported.
Antic and Sefolosha were released without bail after a brief court appearance where they were charged with obstructing governmental authority and disorderly conduct. Their attorney, Alex Spiro, said they did not commit any crime.
“They should not have been arrested. We fully expect the case to be dismissed,” he said.
“We are aware of the situation involving Pero Antic and Thabo Sefolosha this morning,” Hawks spokesperson Garin Narain told CBS News. “We are in the process of gathering more information and will have further comment at the appropriate time.”
(WARNING: video has strong language. Credit: TMZSports.com)
The incident occurred before 4 a.m., when the club was closing, according to police.
Police said Copeland and his girlfriend were arguing on the street as the attacker eavesdropped, and started to interfere. The dispute escalated until Murdock allegedly pulled out a knife and started slashing.
Bill White heard the chaos from his apartment on the 21st floor across the street from the nightclub.
“(What did you hear this morning?) Just a lot of screaming, which sounded like somebody was getting hurt,” White said.
He told CBS2’s Gold he looked outside and saw a huge crowd huddled on the sidewalk.
“(You knew something was wrong when you heard those screams?) For sure. It was not a good sound to hear that someone was definitely getting hurt,” White said.
“Chris Copeland suffered a knife wound to his left elbow and abdomen this morning in New York City,” Pacers president Larry Bird said in a statement. “He is currently in stable condition at a New York hospital. Updates will be provided as available.”
Copeland and his girlfriend have since been released from the hospital and are working with investigators, Gold reported.
“1 OAK is extremely concerned with the safety of its patrons and the community,” the nightclub said in a statement Wednesday. “Mr. Copeland and his wife were accosted in front of Fulton Houses where the unfortunate incident occurred after an altercation with the perpetrator.”
The club said it is cooperating with the NYPD in reviewing surveillance footage of the incident, which reportedly shows the altercation didn’t start at or “surrounding” 1 OAK.
“Mr. Copeland’s driver sprang to accost and detain the apparent perpetrator and that individual is in police custody,” 1 OAK said. “The incident occurred beyond the view of our security.”
The Hawks played the Nets on Wednesday in Brooklyn, and won 114-111. They also beat the Suns in Atlanta on Tuesday night.
The Pacers were in town to face the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. The Pacers won 102-86.
“Obviously it hurts to see a teammate being injured like this, but we’re trying to remain focused on the game tonight,” said Pacers coach Frank Vogel.
Copeland, 31, was a member of the Knicks during his rookie season in 2012-13. He signed a $6 million contract with the Pacers two years ago, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.
The Knicks’ season is over, but the Pacers still have a slight chance to make the playoffs. Pacers fans outside Madison Square Garden were not pleased with a member of the team being out on the town at 4 a.m. on a game day.
“You put the team in jeopardy, and the fans too,” Alpha Heyligar told CBS2’s Aiello.
“It’s not a good look for him, not a good look for the Pacers,” Matthew Bryant said.
Neighbors said problems outside 1 OAK are constant. They hope something changes soon.