Aditya Singh was spotted by two United Airlines employees after almost three months (Picture: Getty/Cook County Sheriff’s Office)
A man has been found living inside an airport for three months because he was allegedly too scared to return home due to the threat of Covid-19.
Aditya Singh, from Los Angeles, was arrested over the weekend after he was discovered sleeping in a secured area of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
The 36-year-old has been charged with felony criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport and misdemeanor theft, reported the Chicago Tribune.
A court was told that Singh arrived on a flight from Los Angeles to O’Hare on October 19 and had allegedly lived in the security zone without being noticed ever since. Passengers are said to have been giving him food during the stay.
Almost three months later, on Saturday afternon, Singh – who has no criminal record – was spotted by two United Airlines employees who asked to see his ID, said prosecutors.
He is said to have shown them a badge belonging to an airport operations manager that had been reported missing by the employee on October 26. The employees called police and he was taken into custody.
Singh was said to be living off food passengers were giving him (Picture: Getty/Cook County Sheriff’s Office)
Assistant state attorney Kathleen Hagerty told the court Singh had found the badge in the airport and had held onto it as he was ‘scared to go home due to Covid’.
Assistant public defender, Courtney Smallwood, said Singh, who has a master’s degree in hospitality, is unemployed and lives with roommates in Orange, LA.
Cook County judge Susana Ortiz reportedly questioned the court how Singh had been living in the airport for months undetected and was concerned his alleged actions ‘make him a danger to the community’.
She is quoted as saying: ‘You’re telling me that an unauthorised, non-employee individual was allegedly living within a secure part of the O’Hare airport terminal from 10 October, 2020, to 16 January, 2021, and was not detected? I want to understand you correctly.’
Ms Ortiz continued: ‘The court finds these facts and circumstances quite shocking for the alleged period of time that this occurred.
‘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.’
The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) said in a statement: ‘CDA has no higher priority than the safety and security of our airports, which is maintained by a coordinated and multilayered law enforcement network.
‘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 traveling public. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners on a thorough investigation of this matter.’
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