screen capture / Facebook - zaida pugh

Zaida Pugh, the woman behind one of the worst mass-transit horror stories in recent New York City memory, has reportedly been arrested.

On August 24, Pugh–disguised as a homeless woman—was filmed flinging crickets and worms in a crowded New York City subway car, causing passengers to have an understandable mass freakout. During the incident, Pugh also urinated on herself, adding to the bedlam already playing out among the frazzled strap-holders.


Footage of the bizarre event was immediately shared across social media, including an 18-minute video posted by Pugh on Facebook. But when Fusion's Soraya Auer reached out for details, Pugh eventually confessed that the entire incident had been "a prank."

"I did this 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,” Pugh, an aspiring actress who claimed to have participated in 50 such "pranks," told Auer.

"I hate doing auditions, and I really like the reactions,” she explained. “I like it when it goes viral and people react and think."

Despite having been picked up—in character—by police immediately after the cricket-throwing incident, Pugh was not arrested, and was instead taken to a local hospital.


Since telling Fusion that she was the woman responsible for the "prank," however, Pugh has become a lightning rod for criticism, with many calling for legal repercussions. Those repercussion came when New York Police officials confirmed that Pugh had been arrested on Tuesday and charged with reckless endangerment.

In the early morning hours before her arrest, Pugh posted a lengthy apology on Facebook in which she described herself as "the most hated person in the world."


"I just really had a dream, and I wanted to go far" Pugh tearfully explained on camera in the nearly 40 minute video. "I wanted to spread my messages out there. But I didn't want it to happen like this."

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