36-year-old Man Found ‘Living In Airport For Three Months’ For Fear Of Covid-19
36-year-old Aditya Singh who was too afraid to fly due to the Coronavirus pandemic was caught living undetected in a secure area of Chicago’s international airport for three months, US prosecutors allege.
Singh was arrested on Saturday, January 16, after airline staff asked him to produce his identification and he pointed to the identity card of an operations manager who reported it missing in October.
Police say Singh arrived on a flight from Los Angeles to O’Hare International Airport on 19 October.
Singh lives in a suburb of Los Angeles and does not have a criminal background, according to Assistant Public Defender Courtney Smallwood. It is not clear why he was in Chicago.
He reportedly found the staff badge in the airport and was “scared to go home due to Covid“, Assistant State Attorney Kathleen Hagerty said, according to the Chicago Tribune.
According to him, he survived on handouts from other passengers.
Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz expressed surprise when she heard the case today, Monday, January 18.
“So if I understand you correctly, you’re telling me that an unauthorised, non-employee individual was allegedly living within a secure part of the O’Hare airport terminal from 19 October 2020 to 16 January 2021, and was not detected? I want to understand you correctly,” she said to the prosecutor who outlined the allegations on Sunday.
He has been charged with felony criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport and misdemeanour theft. He has been barred from entering the airport if he is able to post the $1,000 (£738) for bail.
“The court finds these facts and circumstances quite shocking for the alleged period of time that this occurred,” Judge Ortiz said.
“Based upon the need for airports to be absolutely secure so that people feel safe to travel, I do find those alleged actions do make him a danger to the community.”
The Chicago Department of Aviation, which oversees the city’s airports has explained the situation in a statement;
“While this incident remains under investigation, we have been able to determine that this gentleman did not pose a security risk to the airport or to the travelling public.”