According to a Chicago Tribune story, a man lived inside the Chicago O’Hare Airport terminal for three months, undetected. “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?” said Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz incredulously, after learning of the situation.
The man, Aditya Singh, has been charged with felony criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport and misdemeanor theft. He told authorities after his discovery, that he was afraid to fly due to COVID-19. After arriving in Chicago he stayed in the terminal to avoid having to fly home again, he contends.
Singh arrived at O’Hare from Los Angeles and was afraid to travel onward. He then hid out in the secure area of the airport, undetected since October 19, 2020. After seeing the man repeatedly, two airline employees approached him and asked to see his identification. He presented an airport ID he was wearing around his neck. That ID had been reported lost in late October. The United Airlines employess called police and he was then taken into custody.
The Tribune article quotes Judge Ortiz as saying, “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.”
The Chicago Department of Aviation released a statement saying: “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.”