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New York’s Museum of Modern Art the Site of a Double Stabbing; Suspect Arrested in Philadelphia

Published: March 23, 2022
Gary Cabana is seen on security footage obtained by the NYPD attacking staff members of Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art on March 12, 2022. The suspect was apprehended in Philadelphia. (Image: Screenshot via NYPD)

Police apprehended Gary Cabana, 60, on March 15 after he’d allegedly set fire to the Best Western in Philadelphia where he was staying after a knife attack that wounded two staff at Manhattan’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) days prior.

On Tuesday, March 21, a Philadelphia court ordered the homeless man, who appears to suffer from mental illness, to undergo a psychological evaluation in light of the two incidents.

The NYPD had been looking for Cabana after he was seen in an altercation with MoMA staff in the afternoon of March 12. According to security footage released by police the next day, Cabana entered the museum around 4 p.m, whereupon he was denied entry on account of his previous disorderly conduct.

Video and testimony by the staff indicate that Cabana, wearing a blacked hooded jacket and a blue sanitary mask, became furious at the denial and vaulted himself over the reception counter, then drew a knife and stabbed two staff members, a man and a woman both aged 24.

Other visitors began fleeing for the exits after seeing the scene, which happened shortly before a scheduled film event at the museum.

Cabana apparently was a frequent visitor at the MoMA until a number of disruptive incidents at the world-famous modern art gallery led to staff revoking his membership. According to the New York Post, the vagrant posted “bizarre rants” on social media and even directed some of his attention to messages from the outlet on Instagram after his escape from the premises.

The museum was temporarily closed as NYPD officers feared Cabana was still active inside the building.

Photos taken by the Post show the two wounded staff members being attended to by medical responders, who said the injuries were not life-threatening. The woman suffered two wounds in her back and one in her neck, while the man was stabbed in the collarbone.

Cabana was found sleeping outside a Greyhound bus station. Philadelphia police, who said he was attempting to travel to Florida, is charged with arson, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, and causing catastrophe with the hotel fire.

At the time of writing, he is being held without bail as New York authorities seek his extradition for the stabbings.