CIVIC CENTER — The self-described performance artist who released crickets on a packed D train last week posted a tearful apology on Facebook live Tuesday as police officers arrest her.
Zaida Pugh, 21, apparently brought 600 crickets and worms onto a packed D train last Wednesday to make a statement about homelessness — but she didn't tell anyone that until after she was out of police custody, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce told reporters.
"We thought she was an emotionally disturbed person, [so] we took her to the hospital," Boyce said at a press conference at police headquarters.
Once out of the hospital, however, "she went out and made further statements to the press that she’d done this on purpose," Boyce said.
She told several media outlets that she wanted the stunt to highlight the plight of the homeless in New York.
"Zaida Pugh will be arrested for reckless endangerment for what she did on the train," Boyce said. "She put people at risk. [They] could have had heart attacks, people could have had all kinds of issues. [They could be] emotionally scarred from that."
She was apprehended in East Flatbush and will be arraigned in Brooklyn Criminal Court later Tuesday, sources said.
Meanwhile, Pugh took to Facebook Live to apologize to New Yorkers.
"I just really had a dream and I wanted it to go far. I wanted to spread messages out there. But I didn't want it to happen like this," Pugh says in the video, breaking down crying.
"Those of you that want me dead and want the worst to happen to me, I'm going to make you happy by just deleting everything," she adds, crying. "You won't have to ever see any of my work or me post anything again."
Pugh got on the train pretending to be selling bugs then flung them into the air, started screaming and hit her head when another rider pushed her away.
A harried rider straphanger pulled the emergency brake on the train as it was crossing the Manhattan Bridge, stranding passengers in the train with the woman and the bugs for about a half hour.
During the subway lockdown, Pugh relieved herself in the subway car.
Boyce said Pugh will be charged with a misdemeanor, and he didn't much care about hearing her side of the story.
"If she speaks to us that’s great," he said. "If she doesn’t, that’s great too."
In the nearly 40-minute-long Facebook video, she describes a rough history, says it's hard to look her kids in the eye and worries what will happen to them if she is arrested.
She expresses a desire to do some kind of community service to make up for what she did and to change public opinion about her, but seems hopeless at the thought.
"I know nothing I say is ever going to matter and my dreams of being an actress, that's all down the drain," she says.