Indiana Pacers Forward Chris Copeland Stabbed Near 1 OAK Club; 2 Atlanta Hawks Arrested In Aftermath: NYPD Sources (WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE)
Ex-Knicks forward Chris Copeland’s homecoming ended near a Chelsea club on the wrong end of a switchblade.
The 6-foot-8 dreadlocked hoopster was stabbed in the gut and his girlfriend took a 22-stitch gash when trash-talking turned into a closing-time melee outside a Meatpacking District club early Wednesday, police said.
The suspect was corralled by Copeland’s driver and held until cops arrived after the 3:58 a.m. attack outside the popular hotspot 1Oak on W. 17th St., sources said.
Shevoy Bleary-Murdock, 22, was charged with felony assault and criminal weapons possession. He is expected to be arraigned on Thursday.
Copeland, who played for the Knicks his rookie season in 2012-2013 and is now with the Indiana Pacers, and gal pal Katrine Saltara were both in stable condition at Bellevue Hospital after the wild scuffle some 15 hours before Wednesday night’s Knicks-Pacers game.
“You hear something like that, it hurts,” said Pacers coach, Frank Vogel, who confirmed Copeland underwent surgery for his injuries. “Your thoughts and feelings and emotions are making sure that a family member is OK.”
Sources said Copeland, who’s from Orange, N.J., and Saltara, 28, were arguing on the street about their relationship when Bleary-Murdock butted in.
“This guy is being nosy, sort of eavesdropping on the conversation,” a source said. “Copeland is like, ‘What the f--- are you doing?’
An argument broke out and Bleary-Murdock pulled a knife and stabbed Copeland, 31, in the abdomen and elbow, and slashed Saltara in her torso, sources said.
A cell-phone video of the aftermath posted on TMZ.com showed a wounded Copeland lying against a wall as Saltara sat alongside him. Copeland smiles at times as cops approach.
“We were both stabbed!” Saltara shouts, clamping a hand over Copeland’s mouth. “We have been attacked out of nowhere....We are scared for our lives!”
The attacker accidentally slashed his friend Catherine Somani, 23, in her stomach during the fracas, the sources said. Saltara, while pulling Somani’s hair, yanked her into the path of the blade, sources said.
A pair of Atlanta Hawks players were busted for interfering with city cops at the stabbing scene. Four officers were needed to handcuff 6-foot-7, Thabo Sefolosha after he ignored repeated orders to leave the crime scene, authorities said.
“I’m just standing here,” Sefolosha reportedly told a cop. “If I was a midget, I’d be mad too.”
His 6-foot-11 teammate Pero Antic allegedly grabbed one of the cops trying to arrest Sefolosha — who was limping with his right calf heavily bandaged at his Manhattan court hearing. An attorney for the pair said both were innocent. They were at the club separately from Copeland.
Copeland was in Manhattan because the Pacers are playing the Knicks at Madison Square Garden later Wednesday. The Hawks tip off against the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center on Wednesday.
One clubgoer told the Daily News that Copeland “looked like he was happy” inside the club before things took a violent turn in the early morning hours.
Copeland and Saltara were rushed to Bellevue Hospital and were in stable condition, the sources said. Somani was treated and released at Lenox Hill Hospital.
“Pray for my brother Chris!” tweeted Indiana teammate Paul George several hours after the stabbing.
1 OAK issued a statement saying the club was “fully cooperative with the NYPD” and that the incident occurred some distance from the nightspot.
Copeland was only in the club a brief time and ordered a water before heading out, a club spokeswoman said. The hoopster stumbled back to 1 OAK for help once he was stabbed nearly a block west of the club, she said.
A police source said that Somani is a friend of Bleary-Murdock 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.
Copeland played 56 games as a rookie with the Knicks during the 2012-2013 season. He averaged 8.7 points and 2.1 rebounds per game, and then signed a two-year, $6.1 million contract with Indiana.
Sefolosha and Antic had been in the city only a few hours before the incident, arriving after a Tuesday night victory over the Phoenix Suns in Atlanta.