Chris Copeland, Indiana Pacers player, was stabbed down the street from New York’s nightclub 10ak early Wednesday morning. He was waiting for his ride with his friend, Katrine Saltara. The stabbing occurred around 4 a.m. EST, after the two left the popular celebrity club in Chelsea.
Copeland was stabbed in his abdomen and left elbow, while Saltara was slashed on her elbow. The two walked back to the New York club after the quarrel and two Atlanta Hawk players, Thabo Sefolosha and Pero Antic, came out of the nightclub after hearing about the altercation. When the police arrived, they arrested the two players for disorderly conduct. Sefolosha was tackled to the ground and ended up with a broken ankle. While Antic was arrested for interfering with the investigation. The two were released from restraint a few hours later, while Copeland and Saltara went to the hospital for surgery on their wounds.
The NBA players were at the nightclub Friday night because Atlanta had beaten Phoenix the night before and were in town to play against the Brooklyn Nets. Former Knicks player and current Cavalier player J.R. Smith told reporters that the New York stabbing incident, in which Copeland was a victim, can happen anywhere, whether they were in a good or bad neighborhood. Since they are young guys with money and out late at night, they must all remember to take extra precautions. Although they are rich and famous, that does not mean everyone loves them.
Smith advised all of his rich and famous friends to not hang out after hours on the street, and to always have a car ready to be on their way to the next destination instead of waiting outside. New York club stabbings are bound to happen to NBA players if they are not aware of their surroundings. Smith then stated how 10ak was a great place to hang out, since lots of celebrities attend the dimly lit club catering to the young, rich, and beautiful. NBA players usually stay in the nearby hotels and know management will always take care of them.
As far as the two Atlanta Hawk players, Sefolosha will not be able to play for the remainder of the season, due to his broken ankle and ligament damage that will require surgery. The Hawks had a game that night and neither player was able to play due to the allegations they had to face.
On Thursday, Copeland assailant, Shevoy Bleary Murdock, was arrested. The stabbing occurred due to an argument between Copeland, Saltara, and Murdock. Murdock pulled out a knife, stabbed Copeland, and slashed Saltara. A judge set bail for Murdock in the sum of $20,000.
Murdock received an athletic scholarship right after high school to Coppin State University in Baltimore, MD. He was later injured and lost his scholarship, which forced him to joined the U.S. Army. He was honorably discharged in 2014 and currently works at the James Hotel.
Copeland remained hospitalized on Thursday, and apologized to his team about not taking better precautions while being out late at night. New York’s nightclub stabbings occur lots of time, but young men with money and fame need to be aware that they are not loved by everyone, as Smith advised.
By Krystle Mitchell