Apparently living in an airport is only cool when Tom Hanks does it.
A California resident claiming he was afraid to fly home due to COVID-19 reportedly lived inside of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport terminal for three months undetected. The man, named Aditya Singh, was eventually discovered and arrested on Saturday.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the 36-year-old arrived at the airport after flying from Los Angeles on Oct. 19 and remained there ever since. Assistant State’s Attorney Kathleen Hagerty said Singh was able to stay undetected for so long by using an airport worker’s credentials he found and surviving “largely from other passengers giving him food.”
“So if I understand you correctly,” Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz asked prosecutors, “you’re telling me that 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? I want to understand you correctly.”
Two United Airlines employees eventually confronted Singh about his work status on Saturday morning. He showed them the work ID, which he eventually admitted to taking on Oct. 26 after finding it in Terminal 3. The employees called 911 and Singh was arrested by police later that evening.
Prosecutors are charging Singh, who has no prior criminal history, with felony criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport and misdemeanor theft.
“The court finds these facts and circumstances quite shocking for the alleged period of time that this occurred,” Ortiz 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.”
Ortiz set bail at $10,000 and ordered the L.A. resident to have electronic monitoring if he is released from jail. He is also not allowed to fly home during the case. Sadly that means Singh, who claimed to have been afraid of contracting COVID-19, is now more at risk for contracting the virus in jail, where the population has been devastated by the spread and given little to no relief.