Aditya Singh purportedly stayed in a secure area of O’Hare International Airport after becoming too frightened to return home to California.
The 36-year-old man, Californian Aditya Singh, was detained and charged with criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport, a felony, and theft, a misdemeanour, a news outlet reported.
Prosecutors said that, according to police, the man arrived on a flight from Los Angeles to O’Hare International Airport on 19 October. Almost three months later, Aditya Singh was approached by two United Airline employees who asked to see identification.
Aditya Singh supposedly showed them an airport ID badge that had been reported missing by its owner, an airport operations manager, on 26 October.
Assistant state attorney Kathleen Hagerty told Cook County judge Susana Ortiz that other passengers had been giving food to Aditya Singh, who doesn’t have a criminal history, and Kathleen Hagerty said Aditya Singh had found the badge in the airport and was terrified to go home due to COVID.
Susana Ortiz reportedly told the court: “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.”
After finding Aditya Singh, the United Airlines employees called 911, where police took him into custody.
Aditya Singh has a master’s degree in hospitality, is unemployed and lives with roomies in Orange, Los Angeles, according to assistant public defender Courtney Smallwood.
Ortiz said that the court found the facts and circumstances pretty shocking for the alleged period that occurred and that being in a secured part of the airport under a fake ID badge, based upon the needs for airports to be secure so that people can feel safe to travel, she found those alleged actions to make him a threat to the community.
Aditya Singh’s bail was set at $1,000 and should he be able to post bail, he’s banned from entering the airport.
The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) said in a statement that the CDA has no higher priority than the safety and protection of their airports, which was maintained by a coordinated and multilayered law enforcement network.
And they said that while the incident remained under investigation, they’ve been able to determine that this gentleman didn’t pose a security risk to the airport or the travelling public and that they would work with their law enforcement partners on a meticulous investigation of the matter.
This of course could only happen in the USA. However, this guy isn’t dangerous, he might need some medical help, as most of us do at this time, but he should hardly be classified as a threat – perhaps he’s saner than most Americans when it comes to COVID.
This is sad when someone is so terrified to go home because of the virus. However, it also shows how resilient and capable of surviving he was in a challenging situation.
This man doesn’t need help, he needs a medal and they arrest and charge him. He wasn’t the danger, it was the airport that was the danger because they were so incompetent because they didn’t pick up on the fact that he was living there, and it took them almost three months to realise this!
Sadly, everyone seems to be treated as a criminal in the first instance over there in the US, but then it was said that the man was frightened of getting coronavirus, yet he chose to live in one of the most COVID risky environments.