A man who was denied entry to the Museum of Modern Art because his membership was revoked got angry, jumped over a desk and stabbed a woman and man who work at the Midtown facility on Saturday afternoon, the sources said police with.
The attack, which took place just after 4:00 p.m., caused guests to run for the exits.
Both victims were taken to Bellevue Hospital and their injuries were not life-threatening, sources said.
“I get hazard pay!” joked a bloodied woman as she was ushered into an ambulance.
The 60-year-old suspect, who is known to the police, is said to have initially hidden in the museum. The building was evacuated, but a police search yielded no results. He was then seen on video footage exiting the building, NYPD Assistant Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller said.
Miller said the man presented a membership card and tried to get into the building, but was denied entry because his membership had been revoked.
His membership was revoked due to two separate incidents of disorderly conduct at the museum in recent days, Miller said, adding: “A letter revoking his membership went out yesterday and he turned up today with the intention of to take part in the film that was being played.”
He was a regular at the museum and staff recognized him, he said.
“Upset at being denied entry, he then jumped over the front desk and proceeded to assault and stab two museum employees multiple times.”
A 24-year-old woman was stabbed twice in the back and once in the neck, police said. The 24-year-old male victim was stabbed in the collarbone, according to police.
Miller said the man is being investigated for two previous incidents in Midtown, which he did not detail. “That’s what the department knows about,” he said. “Furthermore, he has no extensive records or arrest records that we are aware of.”
Dozens of people who were in the museum at the time of the stabbing reported on social media that they were escorted out of the building by security without explanation.
Tourist Wendy Keffer from Austin, Texas, was entering the museum with her husband and children when the chaos began.
“As we were about to go in, we saw hundreds of people running out at once,” she said. We heard people say, “Sagittarius, Sagittarius, Sagittarius.”
Unfounded reports of a shooting startled her son Lane, 12.
“Everyone was screaming ‘shooter, shooter, shooter,’ so I just covered my head,” the shaken boy said. “It was the scariest moment of my life. I was just starting out in art and wanted to see ‘The Starry Night’ so that’s why I came here.”
“I’m still not over it,” Lane added.
Connecticut resident John Sanchez, 33, had just arrived at the museum with his girlfriend. “We took the escalator to our first exhibition and there was just a crowd running towards us,” he said. “As soon as you see people running, you think let me go the other way. It was hectic.”
“You always assume the worst when people walk like that.”
“We tried to see Salvador Dali but we didn’t get anything,” said Sanchez, still holding his ticket.
The stabbing is an “isolated criminal incident,” said a spokeswoman for Mayor Adams.
The mayor later tweeted that he was informed of the incident and stated that the two women are expected to survive. “We are grateful for the quick work of our first responders,” he said. The museum did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The museum and its shops are closed on Sunday, MoMA announced late Saturday.
https://nypost.com/2022/03/12/two-women-stabbed-at-moma/ MoMA stabbing leaves two employees in hospital