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Woman Charged For Pranking NYC Commuters By Throwing Crickets On Subway

The self-styled actress has since apologized for creating chaos in a crowded New York city train after she released bugs for a viral prank.

Last updated on August 30, 2016, at 5:00 p.m. ET

Posted on August 29, 2016, at 9:52 a.m. ET

A woman who posed as a homeless person and wreaked havoc on a New York City subway train after releasing live crickets as part of a prank has been arrested and charged, police told BuzzFeed News on Tuesday.


Zaida Pugh, a self-described actress, told the New York Post Saturday that she staged the elaborate prank on the D train "to show what homeless people go through and how people treat them."

On Tuesday, a New York police spokesperson said Pugh, 21, was arrested and charged with multiple counts, including reckless endangerment, obstructing government administration, false reporting of an incident, and disorderly conduct (creating a hazardous condition).

The police officer said Pugh caused "panic, alarm, and recklessness" on the train by "throwing the crickets around."

Another police spokesperson earlier confirmed that Pugh was taken to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation after the incident, but did not have information on the results.

Pugh shared the now-viral video on her Facebook page, showing panicked commuters trapped on a train on the Manhattan Bridge for nearly 30 minutes. The train stopped after someone pulled the emergency brake when Pugh got other pranksters to flip her box of bugs in the air. She also urinated on herself.

Facebook: video.php

Pugh, who said she has been doing online pranks for several years, apologized for the incident. "I'm sorry about the situation," she told Gothamist.

"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," she said.

Pugh originally intended to release hissing cockroaches in the train, she told the New York Daily News.

Responding to the prospect of facing charges, Pugh told Gothamist, "I guess whatever happens happens. I can't get mad if they do charge me."

On Tuesday morning, she uploaded a video to her Facebook page, stating that she was "very sorry." "I wish I wasn't the most hated person in the world, but I am truly sorry," she said.

Facebook: video.php

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.