Indiana Pacers' Chris Copeland, 2 women stabbed outside NYC nightclub

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland (22) before the start of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, March 14, 2015, in Indianapolis.
Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland (22) before the start of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, March 14, 2015, in Indianapolis.
AP Photo/Doug McSchooler

NEW YORK (KABC) -- Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland and two women were stabbed outside a popular New York City nightclub early Wednesday morning.

The incident happened outside 1Oak in Chelsea around 4 a.m. Authorities say Copeland and a female companion, who may have been in an argument on the street, were approached by a 22-year-old man who tried to listen in and possibly get involved.

Copeland and the suspect, identified as Shevoy Bleary Murdock from Brooklyn, got into a dispute outside the club, according to the New York City Police Department, and Copeland pushed him. Murdock allegedly retaliated with a knife.

Copeland, 31, was stabbed in the left elbow and abdomen, and was listed in stable condition at Bellevue Hospital. He reportedly fractured his elbow and was expected to undergo surgery later Wednesday.

Copeland's companion, 28-year-old Katrine Saltara, was slashed multiple times in the arm, across the chest and buttocks as she tried to break up the fight. She was also listed in stable condition at Bellevue.

Saltara was initially identified by police as his Copeland's wife, but it appears she is a former girlfriend and may have even been his fiance at one point. There is evidence they were engaged a few years ago, but their current relationship status is unclear.

Copeland was reportedly in the club for about 10-15 minutes, and the officials believe he was walking in the direction of his car. The police told them Copeland's driver grabbed Murdock and held him until police arrived.

Murdock was arrested and charged with felony assault and criminal possession of a weapon. Police said a knife was recovered at the scene.

Police said 23-year-old Catherine Somani, apparently a friend of the suspect, was stabbed by accident or while attempting to break up the dispute. She was listed in stable condition at Lenox Hill Hospital.

Copeland is a 6-foot-8-inch forward originally from Orange, New Jersey. He played 56 games with the New York Knicks during the 2012-2013 season, his rookie year. He signed with the Pacers in 2013 as a restricted free agent and is in the second year of a two-year deal.

"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."

Meanwhile, as officers responded and were trying to sort things out, they say two Atlanta Hawks players got in the way of their attempts to establish a crime scene. One of them allegedly pushed a police officer, and both were taken into custody. Thabo Sefolosha, 30, was charged with resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct. Pero Antic, 30, was charged with obstructing governmental administration, menacing and disorderly conduct.

The pair apparently flew to New York City late Tuesday night after their game against the Phoenix Suns in Atlanta, as the Hawks play in Brooklyn Wednesday night.

A source told ESPN that the Hawks players were not in Copeland's party at 1Oak Club. Antic and Sefolosha were released without bail after a brief court appearance Wednesday. 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.

The Hawks said Antic and Sefolosha will not play Wednesday night.

"The events of this morning involving Pero and Thabo were unfortunate as we never want to see our players put themselves in a potentially negative situation," Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said in a team release. "We will continue to look into the facts of the incident but with the information and foundation that we currently have established, we will support them through this process. Otherwise it is a continuing legal matter and I will have no further comment."

The Hawks also released a statement from Antic and Sefolosha.

"As members of the Atlanta Hawks, we hold ourselves to a high standard and take our roles as professionals very seriously," the players said in the statement. "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. We are unable to provide further comment as this is an ongoing legal matter."

Officials with 1Oak say their understanding of the Hawks' players involvement is that they were trying to push their way out of the club to avoid being noticed or involved, and the police were setting up crime scene and were emptying the club in a more orderly fashion than the two apparently wanted.

WABC-TV, ESPN and The Associated Press contributed to this report.