A patron of the Museum of Modern Art whose membership card was recently revoked for unruly behavior stabbed two MoMA employees Saturday when he was denied entry to the famed midtown Manhattan site and then fled, police said.
The two victims, both women, were rushed to a local hospital for treatment for multiple stab wounds to the upper body, but “we were told they’re going to be fine,” said John Miller, deputy police commissioner for the city of New York. New York. a press conference afterwards.
Officers from the New York City Police Department (NYPD) launched a manhunt for the suspect, who Miller said was familiar to MoMA staff as a museum “regular” and to police as previous incidents of “disorderly conduct,” including at least one at MoMA, in recent days.
The NYPD was not aware of any arrest records or other brushes with the law, Miller.
A letter was sent to him on Friday revoking the man’s MoMA membership card, and he showed up Saturday afternoon “with the stated intention” of seeing a film being shown at the museum, Miller said.
When told that his membership card had expired and he had been denied entry, he became upset, jumped on the reception desk and stabbed the two employees, according to Miller. Surveillance video footage showed him fleeing the museum on foot moments later.
The New York Post published photos showing each of the two women being carried on stretchers to waiting ambulances outside the museum. The Post said the stabbings set off a chaotic scene that sent visitors running out of the museum, famous for having one of the world’s largest and most influential collections of modern art.