Philly Police Nab the Suspect Who Allegedly Stabbed Two MoMA Employees in a Fit of Rage
Gary Cabana is a former Broadway usher who was apprehended after allegedly setting his hotel room on fire.
According to police, Cabana had been staying under the name “Joseph Cabana” at a Philadelphia Best Western Plus. He started a fire in his fifth floor room on Monday night. The arson caused extensive damage to the room, but no one was injured.
After the fire, hotel staff reviewed security footage, saw that Cabana matched the description of the MoMA suspect, and informed the NYPD.
Philadelphia police put out a call on the radio, noting that the arson suspect was “also wanted for a stabbing in New York City,” according to a local ABC affiliate. “[Cabana] frequents bus and train stations and should be considered armed and dangerous.”
Police spotted Cabana at a Greyhound bus terminal around 1 a.m., sleeping on a bench. He is expected to be extradited to New York to face charges there. It is unclear what brought him to Philadelphia.
“I’m not a bad guy,” Cabana told the arresting officers, reports the New York Post. “I just snapped.”
A former Broadway usher who reportedly suffers from bipolar disorder, Cabana was a regular at MoMA, but the museum revoked his membership after two alleged incidents of disorderly conduct on February 24 and March 9. The institution sent him a letter informing him about the termination on Friday, and staff denied him entry to a 4:30 p.m. screening of Bringing Up Baby on Saturday afternoon.
Security footage shows a man identified as Cabana leaping over the film ticket desk and attacking two 24-year-old employees, a man and a woman who suffered non-life-threatening injuries. After the stabbing, Cabana fled the scene and security staff evacuated the building, including thousands of visitors.
In a message to a New York Post reporter, a person using Cabana’s Instagram account denied that he had been disruptive in anyway during the previous incidents at the museum.
“I was completely blindsided by the ‘letter’ from security without any meeting or consultation to explain my mental health situation and how important GREAT MOVIES are to my life,” the message claimed. “When they said I couldn’t go upstairs to see STARRY STARYY NIGHT EVER AGAIN I lost it.”
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The three-day manhunt for Cabana saw police clear congregants at St. Francis of Assisi’s Church in Midtown on Monday, according to Gothamist, after a witness told police that a man matching his description had entered the building. After an hour’s search, police determined he was not on the premises.
In the wake of the attack, the museum remained closed on Sunday and Monday.
“MoMA reopened today and we look forward to welcoming back our members and visitors,” a museum spokesperson said in an email to Artnet News. “We’re relieved and grateful that our colleagues are recovering, and the attacker was arrested.”
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