67° Good Evening
67° Good Evening

Woman who released crickets on D train arrested, NYPD says

Zaida Pugh, the woman accused of releasing crickets

Zaida Pugh, the woman accused of releasing crickets on the D train, has been arrested, police said. Pugh said she released a bucket full of the bugs on the crowded train as a stunt to raise awareness of how people treat the homeless. Photo Credit: Diana Colapietro

The woman accused of releasing a bucket full of crickets and worms onto a crowded D train last week was arrested on Tuesday, police said, just hours after she posted a Facebook Live video apologizing and saying that people want to kill her.

Zaida Pugh was taken into custody on Tuesday afternoon and charged with reckless endangerment, obstructing governmental administration, false reporting of an incident, and disorderly conduct, police said.

Last week, Pugh, who identifies herself on Facebook as an actress who attended the Brooklyn Theatre Arts High School, boarded a crowded train, posing as a homeless woman.

“I’m selling them. These are a quarter each,” she tells the panicked commuters, the entire incident caught on video. “I need money, please. Please stop running from me.”

Another man, identified in reports as a fellow actor, then knocks the bucket from her hand, sending the bugs everywhere. Pugh then appeared to panic, and commuters tried to calm her. At one point, Pugh tried to climb through a small opening in the train’s window.

The train was halted to a standstill for several minutes.

Early Tuesday, Pugh said in a tear-filled 39-minute video that the point of the stunt was to “get everyone’s attention” for her message, but admitted she could have done it differently.

“I want my work to spread,” she said. “I’m just sorry for everything. I don’t know what’s going to happen to me.”

Her hopes of being an actress, she said, are now out the window. Pugh said she “always wanted to be somebody” and dreamed to act with Tyler Perry.


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

News photos & videos