An enraged museum-goer attacked two workers at the bustling Museum of Modern Art in Midtown on Saturday afternoon when he was denied entry, according to police.
The stabbings took place at around 4:15 p.m. officials said. A regular MoMA patron, identified as 60-year-old Gary Cabana, was trying to attend a film screening Saturday afternoon, police officials said, but he was turned away. His membership had been recently revoked for misbehavior at the museum, according to John Miller, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of intelligence and counter-terrorism.
“He became upset about not being allowed entrance, and then jumped over the reception desk and proceeded to attack and stab two employees of the museum multiple times," Miller said.
The two workers, a man and a woman, were stabbed in the back, on the collarbone and on the back of the neck, and were rushed to the Bellevue Hospital, where they were treated for non-life threatening injuries, according to the FDNY and police officials.
Cabana fled the museum and police were still canvassing the area, searching for him on Saturday evening.
Police identified Cabana as a white male who was last seen wearing a black jacket, a blue surgical mask, a shirt with a colorful pattern and a hood. They suspect he was involved in two other incidents in Midtown, though they declined to provide further details.
The Saturday afternoon attack triggered chaos inside the museum, as hundreds of patrons flocked to the exits.
"This was a rapidly unfolding, spontaneous incident," Miller said.
Museum-goer Christian Desrosiers, 34, described a frantic scene. He said he was just scanning his ticket when he saw a group of women start to sprint for the exits.
“You can just tell when someone is running for their life," he said. "So I just followed them."
One woman being transferred to an ambulance on a stretcher was heard shouting that she wanted hazard pay after the incident.
A spokesperson for the Museum of Modern Art didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
This story has been updated with the name of the suspect.