A man furious because the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMa) had withdrawn his membership card hours before due to behavioral problems, stabbed two employees of the same this Saturday. Slightly injured, they have been transferred conscious although visibly bloody to a city hospital to receive first aid. The event, which occurred shortly after four in the afternoon, local time (10 at night on the Peninsula), has forced the rapid evacuation of the museum between scenes of chaos and tension, because it registered full capacity in one day very unpleasant in the street, with rain and snow. The eviction was quick, thanks to the traffic cut by the police to facilitate the arrival of the ambulances. The individual fled while MoMa, one of the world’s leading museums, was closed to the public for the investigation.
An hour after the incident, John Miller, a spokesman for the New York Police Department, offered a brief press conference in which he confirmed that the individual was angry when he was denied entry, jumped the access control to the lobby and, in the ground floor of a building that has 65,000 square meters and is one of the city’s tourist attractions, he stabbed the employees several times “in the neck, back and collarbone.” The women were at the counter that gives access to the movie theater. In early accounts of the event, the attacker was mistakenly reported to be an aggrieved former MoMa employee.
The aggressor, a white man around 60 years old, dressed in a hooded sweatshirt and a surgical mask, had been involved in two incidents that led the institution to revoke his membership “for disorderly conduct”, in the definition of the police spokesman. He today approached the museum with the intention of seeing a movie but being rejected at the entrance, he reacted angrily. After perpetrating the attack, he ran away, tried to hide in an adjoining church and, failing to do so, fled. The museum is located in the heart of Manhattan, a short distance from Central Park and very close to Rockefeller Center.
The suspect had not been taken into custody Saturday night, but Miller said police know his identity because of previous incidents he had caused. On its Twitter account, the police department asked citizens to avoid the surrounding area. The attack happened so suddenly that museum security had no time to react. “This was a spontaneous and isolated incident that developed rapidly,” Miller said.
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