A D train passenger—who later copped to being an actress, and not a homeless woman—attempting to sell live crickets and worms on a New York City subway train on Wednesday inadvertently kicked off a chain of events that was, well, certainly compelling. The Great Crickets and Worms Fiasco of 2016 started on the D train at around 6 p.m. Wednesday, the New York Post reports. After reportedly making a "pitch" to fellow passengers about procuring the crickets and worms, a group of teens pushed or bumped into the woman, prompting her to simply throw the box of critters into the air.
The woman, Zaida Pugh, told the New York Daily News on Friday that she pulled the stunt to bring awareness to how homeless people are treated—and that she'd almost unleashed hissing cockroaches on the riders instead of crickets and worms. The Daily News also reports that police are considering charges against the 21-year-old.
“I wanted to show how the homeless are treated and how people react to things like this — they take out their phones and start to record when they should be helping,” she told the Daily News. “I’m sorry how it went but I was trying to put a message across.”
"It was the craziest thing I've ever seen on a train," Chris Calabrese, who witnessed the freeing of the bugs, told the Post. Calabrese was on the train with his girlfriend, who promptly started crying. "Everyone had crickets on their arms," Calabrese said. "My girlfriend was crying. Then some men were trying to hold [the unidentified woman] down and she started trying to throw up on them." The woman also reportedly urinated on the floor.
At some point during the ride, an understandably freaked-out passenger pulled the emergency brake (which you're never supposed to do!) and subjected everyone to sweltering August heat without air conditioning. This bug-loaded shutdown lasted a full 30 minutes before the train started up again, ultimately pulling into the DeKalb Avenue station where authorities removed the woman from the car.
To see most of the episode (plus some gnarly slow-motion effects), watch the video above. An accomplice of Pugh's is also seen pretending to punch her.
Stay safe out there, D trainers.