TRIBECA, Manhattan (PIX11) — Police are looking for the person who attacked a man and vandalized a sign for the “Banksy in New York: Defaced” exhibit in Manhattan. The incident happened around 9 a.m. Thursday outside the gallery on Broadway and White Street in Tribeca.
Jonathan Cedeno, the man who was assaulted, told PIX11 News he saw the suspect on security video spray painting the wall. Cedeno, who is the building’s superintendent, said he then came outside and confronted the masked man while recording on his cell phone.
Cedeno told the suspect he was a “lowlife” and was going to go to jail. The suspect is then heard on video saying, “You got Banksy on the wall and you’re telling me I’m a lowlife? … It’s glorified art.” The suspect then pushes Cedeno and knocks away his cell phone.
Cedeno then said he backed away and called 911. Building security cameras then show the suspect hitting Cedeno in the head, including with a metal bottle.
“I’ve been chasing a lot of graffiti artists trying to scribble on the Banksy mural, but they run away. This one didn’t,” Cedeno said. “I wasn’t expecting him to hit me back.”
Elena Frigenti, the exhibit curator, said “the irony is the title of the exhibit is ‘Banksy Defaced,’ and in fact, he has been defaced again.”
The exhibit is not authorized by the anonymous graffiti artist. It features over 80 original works.