Woman Who Unleashed Crickets And Worms On Subway Charged With Reckless Endangerment

Zaida Pugh

Surely you recall the story from over the weekend, when a woman who appeared to be homeless and mentally ill, set loose a jar full of live worms and crickets on a New York City subway train? And then proceeded to have a complete breakdown as critters scurried between screaming straphangers? Yes, that nightmare come to life. Here’s a reminder:

Related: Woman Causes Mayhem By Unleashing Jar Full Of Worms And Crickets On NYC Subway Car

Well, it turns out that the woman in question, Zaida Pugh, was only pretending to be mentally ill/homeless; she’s actually what some might call a performance artist. She told Fusion that the horrifying stunt was to show how people react to situations with homeless people and people with mental health … How they’re more likely to pull out their phone than help.”

That may be fairly accurate, though you don’t need to unleash a flurry of insects into a cramped subway car to prove it – just look around, people ignore the homeless and the mentally ill as a routine. On Tuesday morning, Pugh uploaded an apology video to Facebook, and referred to herself as “the most hated person in the world.” Pugh is clearly a woman who thinks in extremes.

Meanwhile, the NYPD was less than impressed with her statement on homelessness and mental health – after all, it caused a rider to pull the emergency brake and left the Manhattan-bound D train at a standstill on the Manhattan Bridge for 30 minutes. According to Gothamist, the NYPD has charged Pugh with reckless endangerment.

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