A 22-year-old assailant stabbed Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland on the left elbow and abdomen outside a New York City nightclub in the early morning hours of April 8. His girlfriend was also stabbed while two Atlanta Hawks players, Thabo Sefolosha and Pero Antic, were arrested at the same nightclub for obstruction of justice.
Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland and his girlfriend were stabbed outside a New York City nightclub in the early morning hours of April 8.
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The New York Daily News, which first reported the incident, revealed 22-year-old Shevoy Murdock stabbed Copeland in the abdomen and left elbow after the latter got into an argument with his girlfriend, Katrine Saltara, outside 1 OAK Club on W. 17th St. on Wednesday at 3:58 a.m.
Murdock also "slashed Saltara in her arm and leg," per The New York Daily News.
A source saw Murdock intervene while Copeland and Saltara were arguing outside the nightclub. "This guy is being nosy, sort of eavesdropping on the conversation," he told The New York Daily News. "Copeland is like,'What the f--- are you doing? It turns into an argument, then Murdock pulls out the knife."
Paramedics on the scene rushed Copeland to Bellevue Hospital "with non life-threatening injuries," per The New York Daily News. Murdock also accidentally stabbed his friend, 23-year-old Catherine Somani, after Saltara pulled her hair and into the path of the attacker's knife. Somani was later taken to Lenox Hill Hospital and released a few hours later.
A source confided to ESPN's Josina Anderson the knife hit Copeland's diaphragm. Doctors also wanted to give priority to his elbow wound as it might result in an infection. Copeland, who also suffered left-hand lacerations, is expected to remain in the hospital for two to three days.
The club released a statement saying Copeland's driver held Murdock until police arrived. Authorities then confiscated the weapon and took Murdock into custody, per The New York Daily News.
CNN's Eliott C. McLauhglin obtained a copy of the statement from 1 OAK:
"1OAK staff was unaware of the incident when it happened, as it occurred beyond their view in a different location. However, 1OAK's team assigned Mr. Copeland to their fullest capabilities, and called for help as soon as he was seen walking back towards the venue.
"A review of the video footage seems to reveal the incident did not originate from the venue or its immediate surroundings that are under 1OAK supervision."
A witness told The New York Daily News that Copeland "looked like he was happy" when he first arrived and then things took a turn for the worst as the night wore on. A club spokeswoman said he was at the club for only a short time and ordered water before leaving.
Copeland, who was in town for the Pacers' game against the New York Knicks on Wednesday, then returned to 1 OAK asking for help after he was stabbed a block west of the club, per The New York Daily News.
The Indiana Pacers issued a statement from their president, Larry Bird, on their official website on April 8:
"We are aware the 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."
The ESPN update refutes earlier reports saying Saltara is Copeland's wife. They were engaged last year, but that is no longer the case. They are said to be "good friends" who hung out in New York City before the unfortunate stabbing incident.
Police also arrested Atlanta Hawks players Thabo Sefolosha and Pero Antic. The New York Daily News update says they both refused to move as authorities were setting up a crime scene. Four police officers were required to put Sefolosha, who has an ankle injury, in handcuffs.
Both Hawks players were accused of disorderly conduct. They didn't say anything after they were released from 10th Precinct, per The New York Daily News. They were in town for their game against the Brooklyn Nets on April 8.
Sefolosha could eventually be charged with resisting arrest, per CNN.
The Hawks released a statement (via CNN) saying they will dispute the charges:
"We will contest these charges and look forward to communicating the facts of the situation at the appropriate time. We apologize to our respective families, teammates, and the Hawks' organization for any negative attention this incident has brought upon them."
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