Following the shocking news that Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland and his girlfriend were both stabbed and seriously wounded near a New York City nightclub early Wednesday morning, Paul George and other Pacers players donned headbands to honor their injured teammate and his signature look as he recovered at Bellevue Hospital.
Copeland and the Pacers were in town for a Wednesday night game against the Knicks when the alleged assailant, 22-year-old Shezoy Bleary, attacked Copeland and his girlfriend Katrine Saltara, along with another woman, Catherine Somani, according to the New York Daily News.
In a strange twist, Atlanta Hawks players Thabo Sefolosha and Pero Antic – who were in town to play the Brooklyn Nets and who were also present at the popular Chelsea club 1OAK where the incident occurred, though not with Copeland – were also arrested for allegedly obstructing justice by refusing to move away from the crime scene in the aftermath of the ordeal. They were later released without bail, and their attorney Alex Spiro seemed confident the charges would ultimately be dropped. Antic and Sefolosha, who were deactivated against the Nets, later issued a joint statement through the team:
“As members of the Atlanta Hawks, we hold ourselves to a high standard and take our roles as professionals very seriously,” the statement said. “We will contest these charges and look forward to communicating the facts of the situation at the appropriate time.”
Candace Buckner of Indy Star Sports reported earlier tonight that Copeland underwent surgery on a punctured diaphragm and is recovering in the intensive care unit.
The Pacers ended up beating the Knicks 102-86.