Suspect Arrested in Pierce Stabbing

Friday, September 29th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

BOSTON (AP) — The third suspect in the stabbing of Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics was arrested Friday after police staked out his girlfriend's home.

The arrest came a day after Pierce was released from the hospital. He had been stabbed nearly a dozen times at a private nightclub party early Monday.

Pierce hopes for a quick recovery. The Celtics open training camp Monday, but Pierce has not said if he will be there.

William Ragland, 28, was arrested at 9 a.m. in nearby Lynn. Police said Ragland was spotted through an open door when someone in the house took out the garbage.

Ragland was to be booked, then transferred to Boston. He is to be arraigned Friday.

Two other men, Tony Hurston, 31, and Trevor Watson, 34, pleaded innocent Thursday, the day after they surrendered to Boston police.

Prosecutors say Pierce was at the Buzz Club in Boston early Monday when Hurston came up from behind him, punched him and then hit him on the head with a bottle as the 22-year-old player lay on the ground.

Watson and Ragland joined the fight and stabbed Pierce in the face, neck and back with a knife, prosecutors said. One stab wound was 7 inches deep.

Hurston posted $15,000 bail and was released, his lawyer, John Swomley, said.

Pierce had lung surgery at New England Medical Center. He left the hospital wearing sunglasses over a swollen right eye and a black Celtics cap that nearly covered a bandage on his forehead.

``I'd just like to tell everybody I feel good,'' Pierce said. ``I can't wait to get back on the basketball court and join my Celtics teammates.''

Pierce, 6-foot-7 and 220 pounds, averaged 19.5 points and was second in the NBA in steals with 2.08 a game. An All-American at Kansas, Pierce was drafted in the first round in 1998 after his junior season.