Yesterday evening, New Yorkers on a D train crossing the Manhattan Bridge experienced one of the worst commutes in subway history.
Around 6 p.m., a woman boarded the train and attempted to sell items to passengers. Unlike many other street salesmen, this woman was not selling bootleg DVDs or candy bars; she sold live, chirping crickets and worms.
In true New York fashion, the other passengers ignored the woman for the most part, until a group of teenagers pushed passed her, which instantly angered her. She then threw the box of creepy crawlers in the air, releasing them into the train.
Passengers on the train immediately ran away from the woman and the bugs and congregated in one area of the train.
“It was pandemonium,” said Chris Calabrese, a 29-year-old passenger on the train. “It was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen on a train.”
After the outburst, someone pulled the emergency brake and the train came rushing to a halt over the bridge. The passengers were then stuck in the car with the hysterical woman, who began to urinate on herself. To make matters worse, the train’s air conditioning was also shut off. During this time, some men tried to contain the woman.
“She was banging on the doors and trying to climb out the windows. Everyone had crickets on their arms. My girlfriend was crying,” said Calabrese. “Then some men were trying to hold her down and she started trying to throw up on them.”
After about 30 minutes, the train continued to move and pulled into the DeKalb Avenue station in Brooklyn. When the train arrived, cops waited on the platform to take the woman into custody. Police said she was taken to New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn for psychiatric observation.
The woman, identified as Zaida Pugh, admitted that the entire stunt was a social experiment.
Pugh, who says she's 21 years old, said the video was meant to be a performance art piece about 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," Pugh said. "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 apologized for any harm the situation caused any of the passengers on the train. Regarding any charges she may face, she admits she has not been in contact with the police since the situation first occurred.
"I guess whatever happens, happens. I can't get mad if they do charge me,” she said of the situation. "I'll try to be more careful in future projects...and I'll never involve bugs in the situation again. Nothing involving bugs."
(Photo: Joseph Holmes/Getty Images)