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:
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.