By Colleen Long and
NEW YORK — Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland, his girlfriend and another woman were stabbed early Wednesday following an argument on the street near a Manhattan nightclub that also led to the arrest of two Atlanta Hawks players, authorities said.
The violence erupted just before 4 a.m. outside 1Oak Club, a trendy Chelsea spot where celebs such as Justin Bieber and Snoop Dogg mingle with partygoers, police said.
The couple was arguing on the street as the attacker eavesdropped and started to interfere, according to police. The dispute escalated until the 22-year-old suspect pulled out a knife and started slashing, police said. Copeland’s driver grabbed the suspect and held him until officers arrived.
The suspect, Shezoy Bleary, was in custody, authorities said. Police said charges were pending.
Copeland, 31, a former member of the New York Knicks, was stabbed in the left elbow and abdomen and Katrine Saltara was slashed in the arm and across the breast. The second woman, who was believed to be with the attacker, was slashed in the abdomen. The victims were hospitalized and in stable condition, police said. Police recovered a switchblade.
Pacers coach Frank Vogel said Copeland had surgery on his elbow and abdomen and would be hospitalized overnight.
In a statement, the club disputed the police account. It said the altercation stemmed from a dispute at a public housing project about two blocks away from the nightspot and that Copeland’s driver grabbed the suspect.
The nightclub had been cited at least 10 times for altercations and four times for noise in 2014, according to data obtained by the New York Post from the State Liquor Authority.