Center City Philadelphia

MoMA Stabbing Suspect Arrested in Philly After Center City Arson

Police in New York City have been trying to track down Gary Cabana since Saturday’s assault inside the Museum of Modern Art in New York City

NBC Universal, Inc.

What to Know

  • Philadelphia police arrested Gary Cabana at a Center City bus station early Tuesday morning.
  • The 60-year-old was wanted in connection to an arson at Philadelphia's Best Western hotel room Monday night and the stabbing of two Museum of Modern Art employees in New York over the weekend.
  • Cabana was sleeping at the bus station when Philadelphia police arrested him. He didn't put up a fight, investigators said.

The former Museum of Modern Art member accused of stabbing two employees when he was denied entry into the iconic New York City facility was arrested in Philadelphia overnight after police said he set fire to a Center City hotel room hours earlier.

Gary Cabana, 60, was picked up at the Greyhound bus terminal at 10th and Filbert sleeping on a bench around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, Philadelphia police told NBC 10.

"Detectives found the 60-year-old suspect — fitting the description — he was actually asleep on a bench inside the Greyhound terminal," Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said. "Police took him into custody, woke him up. The individual did not resist, did not fight."

The man they found at the train station was wanted for torching his fifth-floor hotel room at the Best Western Plus on Vine Street around 6 p.m. Monday, Philadelphia police said.

No one was hurt in blaze, which the fire marshal later declared an arson, Philadelphia police said. Cleaning crews on the scene Monday told NBC10 that damage was done to the curtains in the room and that they found something charred in a trash can.

Police in New York were hunting for Cabana for days, ever since the shocking weekend assault.

Video taken from inside the MoMA shows the moment NYPD says Cabana hopped the desk and cornered several workers before stabbing two of them.

A man wearing a suit and holding what appears to be a walkie-talkie is seen trying to stop the suspect from the other side of the counter. He's seen throwing numerous projectiles at the suspect in an attempt to stop the attack.

Eventually, both victims were able to run past their attacker amid the chaos.

Cabana is accused of trying to gain access to the museum to see a film but was denied because his membership had been revoked a day earlier for repeat disturbances, John Miller, NYPD deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism, said at a Saturday evening news conference.

Miller also said a letter informing Cabana that his membership had ended was sent out Friday.

After he wasn't allowed past the museum entrance, police said he jumped over the reception desk around 4:15 p.m. Saturday and stabbed two employees — a 24-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man — multiple times.

The museum staffers were stabbed in the back, collarbone and neck, according to Miller's report. He said both victims were expected to survive.

Cabana took to social media in the days after the attack with a series of rambling posts denying he'd misbehaved prior to losing his membership. He also tried to minimize the attack, saying it was a "poke poke poke wake-up call" and accusing staff of framing him.

Cabana is likely to face arson charges for the blaze in Center City, and the NYPD said extradition to New York is "pending."

Additional video captured Cabana leaving the museum after the attack. He was seen wearing a black jacket and blue face mask, police said. He's also described by police as a museum regular, someone with whom staff was familiar.

Videos posted to social media showed dozens of people leaving the museum as officials moved in to commandeer the scene.

The museum was full of visitors during Saturday's late winter snowstorm when the attack happened. Among those inside was David Dujerko, who was visiting from Chicago.

"Suddenly they said 'the museum's closed' and people started running. Little panic on the escalators and then they started shouting 'get out, get out for your own safety,'" Dujerko said.

While it has been closed since the attack, the MoMA was due to reopen Tuesday.

Contact Us