Chris Copeland Stabbed in New York, Reportedly Has a Punctured Diaphragm and Broken Elbow

Dec 8, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland (22) lines up along the free throw lane while the Atlanta Hawks shoot a free throw at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Atlanta defeats Indiana 108-92. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 8, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland (22) lines up along the free throw lane while the Atlanta Hawks shoot a free throw at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Atlanta defeats Indiana 108-92. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

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A knife-wielding assailant stabbed Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland, a friend of his, and another woman last night in New York, according to the New York Daily News. The Indiana Pacers said Copeland was stabbed in both the abdomen and left elbow. According to multiple reports, both Copeland and Katrine Saltara, who “had been engaged,” according to the Indianapolis Star, are in stable condition in a local hospital, as is the other woman.

UPDATE: Copeland has gone into surgery to treat a fractured elbow he suffered, according to Charly Arnolt of Fox 59. The injuries sustained have been called not “life-threatening” in various media reports, though obviously this will likely end his season for the Pacers.

UPDATE II: Chris Copeland has finished surgery. The doctors also patched up his stomach, according to Ian Begley of ESPN NY.

UPDATE III: According to the Indianapolis Star, Copeland suffered a punctured diaphragm during the incident. This makes the attack sound much more harrowing than initial reports and even worse than when it was revealed that he had a fracture — something that is serious enough for anyone and even more so for an athlete who will be a free agent this summer.

"Copeland suffered a puncture to his diaphragm and remained in an intensive care unit on Wednesday.A source close to the situation told the Indianapolis Star that Copeland remained stabilized at Bellevue Hospital in New York. Copeland underwent surgery for injuries to his abdomen and left elbow during an early morning knife attack outside a trendy Chelsea nightclub."

The Pacers are in town to play the New York Knicks this evening, and Copeland was with a friend — reportedly his one-time fiancé — in Chelsea at a club called 1 Oak. As they left around 4 a.m, according to the report, a woman and Copeland got in an argument. The attacker, Shezoy Bleary, then came in, stabbing Copeland and Saltara.

UPDATE IV: A source told the Indy Star that “It wasn’t even close to an argument … Chris did not initiate anything.”

Bleary, who was arrested by the NYPD soon after, also inadvertently slashed his friend in the fracas, per the New York Daily News.

"Bleary then pulled a knife, stabbed Copeland, 31, and slashed Saltara in her arm and leg, the sources said.The attacker also accidentally slashed his friend Catherine Somani, 23, in her abdomen during the fracas, the sources said. The club, in a statement, said Copeland’s driver grabbed the suspect and held him until cops arrived …A police source said that Somani is a friend of Bleary, and was with him when the stabbing started. “In the course of what he was doing, (he) slashed her in the abdomen,” the source said."

Oddly, Pero Antic and Thabo Sefolosha of the Atlanta Hawks were also arrested in the incident.

The Hawks were in town to play the Brooklyn Nets. It is not clear from the Daily News report whether the players were there together or if they just all happened to be attending the same popular, ritzy night spot. But after the cops arrived, Antic and Sefolosha reportedly “refused to move when police tried to set up a crime scene” and “were charged with obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct.”

A New York Times report has more details.

"One of the Hawk players who was arrested, Thabo Sefolosha, was charged with resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct after he refused to disperse and then “charged at an officer,” a police spokeswoman said.The other Hawk arrested, Pero Antic, was charged with obstructing governmental administration, menacing and disorderly conduct. While Mr. Sefolosha was being arrested, the police said, Mr. Antic “physically grabbed another police officer.”"

Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report also offered the following:

UPDATE V: An attorney for the players said that his clients never should have been arrested, according to the Indy Star.

"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."

Paul George tweeted out a message to “pray for my brother Chris,” and Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird released a statement saying the the team is aware of Copeland’s injuries and is waiting to get more information before issuing further updates.

Copeland’s agent, John Spencer, gave a comment to the Indianapolis Star.

"“We’re concerned about the safety of Chris and Katrine. We don’t have any details at this particular time. All we can do is pray and wait.”"

Before joining the Pacers, Chris Copeland, a New Jersey native, played one season for the Knicks, averaging 8.7 points per game as a fan-favorite shooting specialist off the bench.

UPDATE: Teammates Paul George and Solomon Hill wore headbands as a tribute tonight during the team’s game in New York — honoring Copeland with his signature look on the court.

The club released the following statement about the incident (via Fox 59):

"1OAK is extremely concerned with the safety of its patrons and the community.  Mr. Copeland and his [girlfriend] were accosted in front of Fulton Houses where the unfortunate incident occurred after an altercation with the perpetrator. As a committed community member and partner, 1OAK was fully cooperative with NYPD and a review of the video footage seems to reveal the incident did not originate from or surrounding the venue. Mr. Copeland’s driver sprang to accost and detain the apparent perpetrator and that individual is in police custody. The incident occurred beyond the view of our security. Once alerted the venue provided all assistance possible."

This story has been updated since it was originally published to correct the relationship of Copeland and Saltara, who was previously mischaracterized as his wife.

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