Authorities reported that after the fuse was ignited, Alan Cooper, 24, cowered in a corner before being pounced on by security staff while a deejay stamped out the flame, the New York Daily News reported Saturday.
Police led the young man away in handcuffs, but not before the artist, Shepard Fairey, confronted the would-be stink bomber.
"I put a lot of time and energy into this," Fairey told Cooper. "What's your problem?"
Cooper blamed the incident on his friend.
"I was with him, but I didn't know he was going to do it," he reportedly said.
Cooper was charged with reckless endangerment and attempted arson, but his friend still had not been accounted for.
"There's a narrow-minded school of thought that if you do anything besides street art, then you're a sellout," said Fairey, a former graffiti artist. "They're just jealous."