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The Museum of Modern Art.
The Museum of Modern Art.

MoMA Stab Suspect Nabbed in Philadelphia

Gary Cabana, who is suspected of having stabbed two front-desk employees at New York’s Museum of Modern Art on March 12, was arrested March 15 in Philadelphia, according to the New York Police Department. Cabana is alleged to have perpetrated the assault, which left the two twenty-four-year-old staffers with non-life-threatening injuries, after having been denied entry owing to two past incidences of disruptive behavior on his part. The sixty-year-old arrived at the museum’s film desk Saturday afternoon as visitors were queuing to attend a screening of the 1938 Howard Hawks–directed screwball classic Bringing Up Baby. When told that a letter announcing the revocation of his membership had been sent out the previous day, Cabana departed, only to return, leap over the desk, and begin knifing the helpless staffers before fleeing.

MoMA was evacuated immediately after the incident and remained closed the next day as Cabana remained at large, posting erratic texts to Instagram. He said that “NYC has turned in to a bunch of MIND-YO-BIDNESS PUSSIES,” citing as evidence the fact that “not one person followed me as I run down 53td st [sic] with a bloody face from where the security hit me with a piece of lucite. . . .” His own business was sharply curtailed on his arrest early Tuesday morning at the Greyhound bus terminal in downtown Philadelphia, from which he was led in cuffs. He is additionally suspected of having set a small fire in his hotel room at a nearby Best Western earlier in the day.

Cabana, whose last known address is a Midtown Manhattan residence for the homeless, the mentally ill, and those living with HIV/AIDS, has no prior arrests. Tina Varney, a friend since college days, told Gothamist that Cabana had long battled mental illness and had spiraled after losing his job as an usher on Broadway during the pandemic, becoming increasingly paranoid as loneliness closed in. “When they said I couldn’t go upstairs to see STARRY STARYY [sic] NIGHT EVER AGAIN,” he wrote on social media Saturday, “I just lost it.”