Woman charged in wild cricket stunt that incited panic on crowded subway

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
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Kemberly Richardson reports on the woman accused of releasing crickets and worms on a crowded subway.

BROOKLYN, New York (WABC) -- A woman has been arrested in connection with a wild subway incident in which live crickets were apparently released on a crowded train.

The NYPD said Zaida Pugh was picked up by the Brooklyn Warrant Squad. She's facing a reckless endangerment charge.

NYPD Chief Robert Boyce said she put people at risk.

Here's video of Pugh talking with Eyewitness News reporter Kemberly Richardson shortly after her arrest:

Pugh, who says she's an actress on her Facebook page, later admitted the video she made showing the ordeal was a social experiment that she hoped would go viral. This one involved crickets and worms on a D train last week.

Pugh said for this experiment, she wanted to see how people treat homeless people, so she dressed up as one and carried the critters around in a container. She told a media outlet that the bugs - more than 300 crickets and at least 200 worms -- were for the "amusement for the video."

But the stunt went awry, and the bugs went flying into the air, causing panic on the train. A passenger pulled the emergency brake and the train was stuck on the Manhattan Bridge for about a half hour while the MTA investigated.

Pugh posted this video on social media after the ordeal:

A passenger on the train captured the incident from a little farther back:

Pugh later posted a teary, nearly 40-minute apology, saying "I just wanted my art and messages to spread across the world and people get my point of views."

What do you think about the stunt and then the charges? Tell us in the comment section below.