By Rocco Parascandola
From New York Daily News
NEW YORK—The crazed patron who police say stabbed two workers at the Museum of Modern Art in a caught-on-camera attack after his membership was revoked was caught in Philadelphia early Tuesday after setting his motel room on fire, the NYPD said.
Gary Cabana, 60, was nabbed about 1:30 a.m.—and had plenty to say when he was walked out of a Philadelphia police station in handcuffs.
“Best cops in the United States right here, buddy,” Cabana said, wearing a black surgical mask, boots, jeans, and a dark-colored hoodie under a flannel shirt, videos tweeted by Philadelphia Fox News reporter Steve Keeley show. “They just made the United States safe—I’m public enemy number one.”
Cabana set his fifth-floor room on fire about 6 p.m. Monday inside a Best Western motel in Philadelphia, police said. There were no injuries, but the room was badly damaged and the hotel was evacuated.
The arson sparked a manhunt and police found Cabana sleeping on a bench inside the Philadelphia Greyhound station. They quickly realized he was also wanted for the Manhattan museum stabbings.
Asked by a reporter after his arrest why he stabbed the museum workers, Cabana shot back, “Man, read my Instagram.”
“Praying for all the haters who believe the Moma/media LIES,” Cabana commented on one of his Instagram posts Monday, part of a back and forth with commenters taunting him and telling him to turn himself in.
After the arson fire, local Investigators determined who checked into that room and reviewed surveillance footage. They soon discovered their suspect matched the description of the man wanted in the New York stabbing incident and alerted the NYPD.
“The fire department almost immediately deemed the fire was an arson,” Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small told Philadelphia’s WPVI-TV. “We don’t know why he came to Philadelphia.”
While on the lam, Cabana posted online that he is bipolar and the victim of a “frame job.”
Police said Cabana stabbed the workers because he wasn’t allowed into the famed museum to see a movie after his membership was revoked because of two past disruptions.
He insisted his membership was unfairly revoked because he laughed in a movie.
Cabana will appear at an extradition hearing before he is returned to New York City to face charges in the caught-on-video attack.
On Saturday afternoon, Cabana allegedly barreled through the museum’s revolving door, leaped across a counter and stabbed the victims.
The workers, a woman, 24, stabbed in the neck and back and a man, also 24, stabbed in the collarbone, are both recovering.
Moments after the attack, police searched the museum looking for Cabana but he was already on the run.
Police pursued leads placing Cabana in New Jersey and Manhattan’s Church of St. Francis of Assisi on W. 31st near Sixth Ave. They evacuated the house of worship before going inside and conducting a search, according to witnesses. Cabana was not there.
The U.S. Secret Service was also involved in the case because the suspect had also made threats against former President Donald Trump, officials said. Cabana had ranted online about Trump, and said he didn’t do enough to stop the spread of coronavirus.
The Museum of Modern Art reopened to the public Tuesday morning.
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