- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 8, 2015

NEW YORK — Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland and two women, one originally reported to be his wife, were stabbed outside a Manhattan nightclub early Wednesday following an argument on the street near a Chelsea club that also led to the arrest of two Atlanta Hawks players, authorities said.

The violence broke out just before 4 a.m. Wednesday outside 1Oak Club, a trendy Chelsea spot where celebs like Justin Beiber and Snoop Dogg mingle with Manhattan partygoers. Police say the couple was arguing on the street as the attacker eavesdropped, and started to interfere. The dispute escalated until the 22-year-old suspect pulled out a knife and started slashing, police said.

Copeland, 31, who once played for the New York Knicks, was stabbed in the left elbow and abdomen, and another woman, Katrine Saltara, who was reportedly once engaged to Copeland, was slashed in the arm and across the breast. The third woman, who was believed to be with the attacker, was slashed in the abdomen. The victims were hospitalized and in stable condition, police said. The suspected attacker was in custody, and a knife was recovered at the scene.

Atlanta Hawks players Pero Antic and Thabo Sefolosha were arrested on charges of obstructing the crime scene, after police said they blocked officers from trying to start their investigation. The players were in town to play the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclay’s Center on Wednesday night. The team arrived late Tuesday, after beating the Phoenix Suns in Atlanta in a victory that set a single-season franchise record with 58 wins.

Garin Narain, the Hawks vice president of public relations, said in a statement on Wednesday morning that the team is investigating the matter.

“We are aware of the situation involving Pero Antic and Thabo Sefolosha this morning,” Narain said. “We are in the process of gathering more information and will have further comment at the appropriate time.”

Hawks officials did not indicate whether the two would play Wednesday night. They are largely bench players, averaging less than six points on a team that has locked up the top playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Pacers were in town to play the Knicks. Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird said the team was aware that Copeland had been injured.

“We are still gathering information and will update when we know more. Our thoughts are with Chris and those injured.”

Copeland has played infrequently, missing 21 games since Jan. 31.

The nightclub had been cited at least 10 times for altercations and four times for noise in 2014, according to a New York Post report. Calls to club went unanswered Wednesday.

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