Man lived in Chicago airport ‘for three months’ as Covid fears stopped him flying

Harriet Brewis
·2-min read
<p>Aditya Singh was arrested after spending three months living in Chicago’s O’Hare airport</p> (Chicago Police Department/Getty Images)

Aditya Singh was arrested after spending three months living in Chicago’s O’Hare airport

(Chicago Police Department/Getty Images)

A US man spent three months living undetected in Chicago's international airport because he was too afraid to fly, prosecutors have revealed.

Aditya Singh, 36, was arrested on Saturday after two United Airlines staff asked him to show ID.

Singh pointed to a badge round his neck which, in fact, belonged to an operations manager who reported it missing in October, the Chicago Tribune reported.

He found the staff badge in the airport and was "scared to go home due to Covid", Assistant State Attorney Kathleen Hagerty explained according to the paper.

The 36-year-old arrived on a flight from Los Angeles to O'Hare International Airport on October 19, a judge heard on Sunday.

Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz was told that Singh managed to live on handouts from other passengers over the following nine weeks.

"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?” the baffled judge asked prosecutors.

Singh lives in a suburb of LA with roommates and does not have a criminal background, Assistant Public Defender Courtney Smallwood said.

Ms Smallwood said he is currently unemployed but has a master’s degree in hospitality, according to the Chicago Tribune.

It is not clear why he was in Chicago or if he has any links to the area.

Singh has been charged with criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport and misdemeanour theft.

He is due back in court on January 27 and is barred from entering the airport if he is able to post the $1,000 (around £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, said 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."

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