NYPD on the Hunt for Man Who Attacked Met Museum Guard Over Crooked Painting

The bearded attacker is on the loose.

Still of the alleged attacker at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image courtesy NYPD.

The New York Police Department is on the lookout for a bearded young man who assaulted a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Friday evening. The attack came out of rage that the staffer wouldn’t right a painting the man said was hanging crooked.

What happened? In the account of CBS, the man approached the guard, noting the askew artwork. In response, the guard told him that he should go to the information desk and let them know about the problem.

At that point, the assailant shouted “Do your job!” and smashed a bottle over the guard’s head.

The attack resulted in a laceration and a trip to Cornell Hospital, the NYPD tells artnet News. No artwork was damaged.

UPDATE: The NYPD has arrested Brandon Aebersold, 33, of Saint Mark’s Place, New York, on charges of second-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

A brief surveillance video, also provided by the police, shows the man approaching the ticketing desk:

Despite leaving a trail of blood from a cut on his hand, the man escaped the museum and has since eluded authorities. He remains unidentified.

Police say he looks to be in his early twenties, stands about five-foot-eight, and weighs about 150 pounds.

“Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782),” according to a press representative for the Central Park precinct of the NYPD. “The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.”

“The safety of our staff and visitors is our number one priority,” the Met said in a statement. “We are thankful that no visitors were injured in this incident, and the security officer suffered only minor injuries. We are grateful for the professionalism of our security team, and are working in coordination with the NYPD on this incident.”

UPDATE: Speaking anonymously, another guard, when informed of the attack, commented as follows:

I am not aware of any incident as severe as this one. There have been a number of instances over the years where a guard has been punched or slapped. I, myself, have been spit in the face by a visitor while inspecting bags at the door. Management’s approach has been conciliatory on the side of visitors. It is my belief that this approach comes from the position that the museum will avoid a situation, rather than address and correct it at the expense of its guardianship. Perhaps their greater concern is the public image of the museum rather than hospitable working conditions.

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Article topics