A deranged woman ransacked a Chinese restaurant, stripped down to her birthday suit, and literally stopped traffic on Third Avenue last Thursday, drawing hundreds of onlookers before cops finally ended the freak show.
The trouble started at around 3 pm when the then-fully clothed 60-year-old woman — whose identity was not released — entered Dragon China between 79th and 80th streets and demanded free food after seeing the word “free” on the take-out menu.
“She asked the cashier, ‘Everything is for free?’ ” said the restaurant’s owner, Dajo Zhao.
Zhao said that the cashier explained that not everything was free — but that only enraged the woman, who slammed her fingers down on the menu, screaming, “Free, free, free, free!”
Attempts to calm the woman failed. And that’s when the lo mein hit the fan — literally.
The unhinged woman began throwing everything she could see, screaming with rage and wildly flailing at any object in her path.
Her manic tornado moved to the back of the restaurant, where she pushed over equipment, threw food, and even punched a chef.
“This old lady was trashing the place,” said Noreen Monier, who owns Tops Restaurant & Bar Supply on Third Avenue between 80th and 81st streets. “I told her to stop and she threw a watermelon at me. She had superhuman strength. She said, ‘I’ll stop when I’m good and ready.’ ”
After destroying the tiny take-out joint, the woman then ran into the middle of Third Avenue and took off her clothes.
“She was prancing around,” said a witness, who would only be identified as Jessica. “At first it was funny, but then it got scary.”
The scene drew roughly 300 onlookers, who snapped pictures and took video of the insanity. Some onlookers heckled the woman, which only seemed to fuel this nude bomb.
At one point, she even laid down on the hood of a black convertible, whose driver didn’t know what to do.
“You just never seen nothing like this. She’s naked as the day she was born, spread eagle on the car,” said Michael Clancy, who was walking his dog when the woman began to strip.
The still-naked woman made her way back into the restaurant, where she began chuckling Snapple bottles and destroying anything she hadn’t already devastated. This is the part that was captured so well on YouTube, though the website removed the video on Tuesday (and our friends at BrooklynDaily.com didn’t have the guts to print the pictures uncensored).
“She’s picking up the phones, answering calls and throwing money,” said Clancy.
It might have ended there — after all, how many bottles of Snapple can one restaurant contain? — but the woman’s frenzy sparked a grease fire that spread quickly.
Eventually, firefighters showed up to contain the blaze. Cops showed up to contain the woman. It took a few attempts, but the woman was eventually corralled in a blanket and cuffed.
Cops in the 68th Precinct did not respond to calls requesting information about what, if anything, the woman was charged with.
Locals know the woman as a regular on Third Avenue, where she was often seen talking to herself while walking down the street.
“She mutters to herself and argues a little, but she seems well taken care of,” said Monier.
But on Thursday, at least, it was clear that the woman had snapped, she said.
“She was completely gone, you could tell,” said Monier.
The weird spectacle was the talk of the strip on Monday, where witnesses were still recovering from the shock.
“In my 36 years on Third Avenue, I’ve never seen anything like that,” said one merchant, who would only identify himself as Harry.Reach reporter Dan MacLeod at dmacleod@c