An Indian-origin California man who was too afraid to fly due to COVID 19 has been claimed of hiding undetected in the secured area of O'Hare International Airport for three months, until this week's arrest, the US authorities said.
Aditya Singh, 36, was arrested and charged with felony criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport and misdemeanor theft, The Chicago Tribune reported on Sunday.
According to the prosecutors , Singh arrived at O'Hare on a flight from Los Angeles on Oct. 19 and has allegedly lived in the airport's security zone ever since, without detection.
Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz expressed surprise after a prosecutor detailed the allegations.
"So if I understand you correctly, you're telling me that an unauthorized, nonemployee individual was allegedly living within a secure part of the O'Hare airport terminal from Oct. 19, 2020, to Jan. 16, 2021, and was not detected? I want to understand you correctly," Ortiz said.
It was when two United Airlines employees approached Singh and asked to see his identification when it came into light that he was using the airport badge of an operations manager who had reported it missing on Oct 26.
Police took Singh into custody about 11:10 a.m. Saturday in Terminal 2 near Gate F12. Assistant State's Attorney Kathleen Hagerty said Singh reportedly found the badge in the airport and was "scared to go home due to COVID and that other passengers were giving him food.
Smallwood acknowledged the circumstances were unusual but noted the allegations were nonviolent. As a condition of bail, Ortiz barred Singh from stepping foot in the airport again if he is able to post the $1,000 he needs for his release. He is due back in court Jan. 27.
"The court finds these facts and circumstances quite shocking for the alleged period of time that this occurred," the judge said. "Being in a secured part of the airport under a fake ID badge allegedly, 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."