An argument at a New York City nightclub turned violent early Wednesday morning, leaving Chris Copeland, 31, of the Indiana Pacers with a knife wound in his abdomen, his wife slashed, and two members of the Atlanta Hawks arrested for impeding a police investigation.
Copeland and his wife, Katrine Saltara, partied at the 1 OAK club in Chelsea just before 4 a.m., when an argument between Copeland and the suspect, Shezoy Bleary, 22, erupted as both men exited the establishment.
Bleary stabbed Copeland, then slashed Saltara in her arm and leg. Allegedly by accident, Bleary slashed Catherine Somani, 53, who was accompanying Bleary. When police arrived, Pero Antić, 32, and Thabo Sefolosha, 30, of the Atlanta Hawks allegedly would not move out of the way so police could set up the crime scene. The cops arrested them for obstructing governmental administration.
TMZ posted a video showing Copeland seated outside the club on the sidewalk after the incident, occasionally smiling and willing to talk with police until a woman covers his mouth. Copeland and Saltara were taken to Bellevue Hospital and listed as stable; Somani was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital and listed as stable.
Poilce arrested Bleary; they found a knife he allegedly used on his victims.
The Pacers were scheduled to play the New York Knicks Wednesday night; the Hawks were scheduled to play the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.
As a late-blooming rookie, Copeland played 56 games with the Knicks in 2012-2013. He signed with the Pacers in 2013 as a restricted free agent. He was named the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month in April 2013. He posts an average of 6.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game this season in limited action. His career, with long stretches in Europe and in the NBA’s Development League, had played as another D-league success story up until early Wednesday morning.
Larry Bird, Indiana Pacers president of basketball operations, released a statement regarding the incident, saying, “We are aware that Chris Copeland was injured early this morning in New York City. We are still gathering information and will update when we know more. Our thoughts are with Chris and those injured.”