A man has spent three months living in a secure section of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, claiming he was ‘too scared to fly home to
Aditya Singh, 36, was charged with felony criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport and misdemeanor theft,
Singh is unemployed and lives with roommates in Orange, Los Angeles, according to assistant public defender Courtney Smallwood.
Police and prosecutors said he arrived at O’Hare from Los Angeles on October 19 but was afraid to fly home because of
Singh, who has a master’s degree in hospitality and no criminal background, said he survived on food from other airport passengers.
Aditya Singh, 36, was arrested on Saturday after being found to have been living in a secure area of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport for three months. Police and prosecutors said Singh (pictured) was too frightened to fly back to LA because of COVID-19
‘It shows how things can slip through the cracks,’ transportation expert Joseph Schwieterman told NBC.
‘You get an idea at the airport and can go two weeks without being detected. It’s really remarkable that in this day and age and security, this occurred.
Singh was eventually caught on Saturday after two United Airlines employees asked him for identification.
The badge he displayed belongs to an operations manager who had reported it missing on October 26 so the employees then called 911.
Assistant state attorney Kathleen Hagerty told Cook County judge Susana Ortiz that Singh had found the badge in the airport,
It is not clear whether Singh left the airport between arriving on October 19 and being arrested last weekend, nor what his reason for traveling to Chicago was.
The Chicago Department of Aviation, which is responsible for O’Hare and the city’s other airports, released a statement saying that the incident ‘remains under investigation’.
Singh was eventually caught when two United Airlines employees asked him for identification and he produced a badge belonging to an airport employee who had reported it missing in October
‘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,’ it read.
‘A lot of people no doubt look back and are embarrassed – gate agents – that probably saw this individual, Schwieterman said, adding that the ‘good news’ was that there was ‘no real risk to safety here’.
‘It just shows how different parts [of the airport] may not talk to each other, question each other’.
Ortiz disagreed however. ‘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 can feel safe to travel, I do find those alleged actions do make him a danger to the community’.
Singh’s bail was set at $1,000 and he is banned from entering the airport should he be able to post bail.