A 60-year-old man in New York City is facing multiple felony charges for allegedly stabbing two employees at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in a fit of rage after his membership was revoked. A New York County grand jury indicted Gary Cabana on two counts each of second-degree attempted murder, first-degree attempted assault, and second-degree assault, court documents reviewed by Law&Crime show.
According to the indictment, filed in New York State Supreme Court, Cabana on Saturday, March 12, 2022 “attempted to cause the death” of the two employees, one male and one female, before fleeing the scene. The MoMA employees were stabbed in the back, collarbone, and back of the neck. Both were transported to Belleveue Hospital for treatment and were said to have been in stable condition.
“As alleged, Gary Cabana brutally stabbed two employees of this historic cultural institution simply because he was banned from entering,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement announcing the indictment. “Everyone deserves to be safe in their workplace, and we will not tolerate violence against hardworking New Yorkers.”
A press release from the district attorney’s office said that Cabana was “a member of and frequent visitor to MoMA” who had his museum membership revoked following “a series of verbal altercations with patrons and employees.”
As previously reported by Law&Crime, investigators said that Cabana arrived at the museum with the stated intention of matching a movie but was informed by security guards that he was officially banned from entering the premises. Cabana left the museum only to return later that afternoon where he proceeded to jump over the ticket counter and attack the employees, prosecutors said.
Surveillance footage of the incident appears to show a knife-wielding man dressed in black and wearing a face mask as he run through the glass turnstile door and heads directly for the security desk. He then climbs atop the desk, leaps down, and steadily approaches the two victims while holding what appears to be small blade in his right hand. The two staffers appear huddled together in a corner of the room as they fight off the attack and eventually make it past the assailant.
After the alleged stabbing, authorities say, Cabana fled to Philadelphia. Officers with the Philadelphia Police Department on March 15 arrested Cabana after he was spotted by security guards at the Greyhound Bus Terminal. When officers arrived they said they found him sleeping on a bench inside of the station and arrested him for arson.
Cabana allegedly told police in Philadelphia that he’d “had a bad day” and “just snapped,” the New York Post reported.
Prior to his arrest, Cabana also allegedly set a fire in a Philadelphia hotel room. He filled two trash bins at a Best Western Plus with toilet paper and other flammable objects that he set ablaze, causing “substantial smoke damage throughout the room,” police told Law&Crime.
Cabana was extradited from Philadelphia back to New York this week, authorities said.
Several of Cabana’s friends reportedly told news outlets that Cabana lived with mental health challenges that had been severely exacerbated by the pandemic.
[image via WRC-TV screenshot]
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