It began as every New Yorker’s worst nightmare they didn’t actually know they had: A seemingly disturbed woman dropped a box of live crickets and worms on the floor of a crowded D train during the evening rush, which caused a mass freakout, which prompted someone to pull the emergency brake, which stopped the subway in the middle of the Manhattan Bridge, which left straphangers trapped in an insect menagerie without air conditioning for a half hour.
Now the subway cricket lady has been arrested, after she, Zaida Pugh, admitted that she was an “actress” who was trying to pull a viral prank. Pugh, who also urinated in the subway car (not part of the stunt, she claims), had told the New York Post she was trying to “show what homeless people go through and how people treat them.” Pugh had apparently stayed “in character” as a homeless person when she received a psychiatric evaluation.
Pugh is reportedly in police custody and will be charged with reckless endangerment. Before her arrest, she posted a nearly 40-minute-long video on Facebook, in which she lamented that her weird act didn’t work out as planned, and that her dreams of being an actress are dead. “That’s going down the drain,” Pugh said. “People who know me know I’m not a person who talks down like this, but it is, it is over.”