Awoman who unleashed a box of live crickets and worms on a crowded D train car last week is speaking out on her panic-inducing stunt, claiming she's an actress and the "prank" was intentional and planned, but is still sorry.
Zaida Pugh, 21, dressed up as a homeless woman and boarded the train on Aug. 25, attempting to peddle the live bugs to fellow commuters.
Speaking to the Gothamist, Pugh said the stunt was meant to be a piece of performance art commentating on the treatment of homeless people.
"The point of the video was to show how people react to homeless people, how people look down at them.It was also to show how people are so fixated on recording stuff, instead of helping other people. Even before I posted the video, people had their own videos up," Pugh, who claimed she has performed similar video stunts over the last four years, said.
In the video, Pugh, wearing a blue dress, announces to train riders that she's homeless and is selling the live bugs to make some money. Teens knocked the box out of her hand, when sent the creepy crawlers flying.
"The bugs went all over the place and people started freaking out, and long story short, the emergency brake got pulled," Pugh told theGothamist. "I stayed in character, and was taken to the hospital for an evaluation."
She said she also peed herself as part of the stunt.
"I'm sorry about the situation and hope not to be be involved in anything like that," she told theGothamist. Pugh said she's considering changing "the way I do my work."
Still, the prank could've been worse. In an interview with theNew York Daily News, Pugh revealed she originally intended the prank to include New Yorkers' worst enemy: cockroaches.
"I ordered some hissing roaches, but I had to pick them up from the post office. It’s a good thing it wasn’t roaches, because people would have bugged out way wilder. That would have been overboard," Pugh said.
Overboard or not, Pugh might still be facing charges for the prank that had everyone bugging out.
"We are exploring [charges],” a high-ranking police source told theDaily NewsSaturday. “It makes sense to me."