Gary Cabana, the MOMA stabbing suspect, was arrested by Philadelphia police on Tuesday. Police found him sleeping on a bench in a Greyhound bus terminal around 1:30 a.m. The 60-year-old is also facing charges for a fire that he started at a local hotel.
According to reports, Cabana is being held in Philadelphia, Pa. and is waiting for extradition back to New York. N.Y. police had told Philadelphia authorities that they believed Cabana would be trying to catch a bus to visit a relative. Security found him around 1 a.m. and police showed up 15 minutes later to arrest him.
Cabana was arrested without protest. He reportedly told officers that “I’m not a bad guy. I just snapped.”
Philadelphia authorities became aware of Cabana’s location after suspecting that he had started a fire in a hotel room at a local Best Western Plus. Reports show that the fire happened Monday night and firefighters arrived at the scene around 6 p.m. Authorities discovered that Gary Cabana had checked into the hotel under the name “Joseph Cabana.”
Surveillance footage confirmed that Joseph Cabana matched the description of the MOMA stabbing suspect and was actually Gary Cabana. On his social media, Cabana uses the name “Gary Joe Cabana.”
Charges are pending for the Philadelphia arson case and a motive for the hotel fire is unknown.
Gary Cabana had been on the run since Saturday, when he stabbed two people inside the MOMA building in New York City. The terrifying event was captured on video and according to reports, Cabana was denied entry to the modern art museum a couple days before after his membership was revoked. Police said that the suspect had two previous outbursts in MOMA. Soon after, his membership was rescinded.
Video footage showed Cabana entering the main area of the museum and walking up to the front desk around 4 p.m. The suspect is then seen leaping over the front desk and stabbing two victims before running out the building. The victims, both 24 years old, were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Their names have not been released.
After the stabbing, Gary Cabana was able to evade police, but he remained active on social media. The New York Post reported that the MOMA stabber DM’ed one of the newspaper’s reporters to tell his side of the story. According to Cabana, he snapped after being denied entry to the Starry Night exhibit.
He also denied previous allegations that he has been disruptive while in MOMA and said that women at the front desk conspired to get him kicked out of the museum. He blamed them for the attack.
He said, “The stabbed girls were in on the BACKSTABBING too. I don’t backstab, I do the frontside only. It’s a WOMAN SCORNED scenario front-to-back. And she got help from the stabbed girls,” Cabana added, referring to a woman named “Barbara,” who he believed revoked his membership.
According to friends of Cabana, the New York man had mental health issues that worsened during the Covid-19 pandemic. Cabana used to be an usher on Broadway and after the pandemic hit, the isolation really hurt him. His friends said that his recent social media posts included wild conspiracies and rants about people who had wronged him.
“COVID hit him hard as far as loneliness,” Anna Blair, an actor and friend, said. “Nobody was able to visit him.”
One of Cabana’s own posts suggested he suffered from some form of bipolar disorder. Friends said a lot of his rants were about the pandemic and how people weren’t following the regulations.
“He would get really frustrated with people who wouldn’t mask and didn’t get vaccinated and stuff,” Tara Varney said. “He loved being an usher. He was ushering for a long time, and he would talk about the shows and everything.”
Police continue to investigate the stabbing and fire. They plan to charge Cabana for his crimes once he is back in New York.
MOMA reopened on Tuesday following Saturday’s stabbing. The museum released a statement and said, “MoMA reopened today and we look forward to welcoming back our members and visitors. We’re relieved and grateful that our colleagues are recovering, and the attacker was arrested.”