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Woman Flings Crickets at Riders on D Train, Sparking Panic

By  Aidan Gardiner Janon Fisher and Dusica Malesevic | August 25, 2016 4:22pm | Updated on August 27, 2016 2:55pm

UPDATE: The incident below appears to have been a prank. The New York Post reported that a performance artist named Zaida Pugh claimed responsibility for the incident.

MANHATTAN BRIDGE — An emotionally disturbed woman unleashed a bucket of crawly insects on a sweltering D train Wednesday evening sparking panic among riders and prompting one straphanger to pull the emergency brake, stalling the train for about half an hour, authorities and witnesses said.

The woman, wearing an aqua-colored onesie, blue Crocks and a black head scarf, got on the Brooklyn-bound train about 6 p.m. with what appeared to be a bucket of crickets, spiders, worms and a white dust, straphangers and authorities said. The incident was first reported by the New York Post.


Live crickets and worms on the D train. This woman was bumped into / pushed while trying to sell live worms and crickets on the D train. Sadly, they all got out. 😳😱😳 #GoingWithEddie #Subway #NYC #SubwayEtiquette #Etiquette #SubwayAssholes #NYCMTA #MTA #NYCSubway #SubwayShaming #Commute #Commuter #CourtesyCounts #NewYorkCitySubway #Mindfulness #Consideration #MannersMatter #Crickets #SubwayBugs #SubwayWorms #SubwayCrickets

A video posted by Eddie Going | #GoingWithEddie™ (@eddiegoing) on

As the train crossed the Manhattan Bridge the woman, believed to be in her 50s, started throwing the bugs at riders, urinating on the floor and screaming, police said. A video taken by one of the commuters shows the woman screaming and hitting and slapping herself in the head.

She was also throwing up at one point, MTA spokesman Chris McKniff said.

"She was apparently trying to sell crickets and somebody punched her in the face and she threw the crickets everywhere and 100 people were trying to run," commuter John Ray posted on his Facebook page. "Where to? People crammed into one end of the train. The air conditioning shut off."

The train was stuck on the bridge for about half an hour, according to Ray.

The cricket woman "was freaking out because she couldn't breathe because she was in such a state and there was no air," he said on social media.

Riders can be seen in the video trying to calm her down.

The train eventually restarted and she was taken off the train by police at the DeKalb Avenue station. She was given a psychiatric evaluation, but not charged, police said.