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A man who was “too scared” to fly home because of Covid-19 has been found living in Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
Aditya Singh, 36, spent three months hiding out before being arrested at the weekend. The Calfornian was reportedly squatting in the security zone of O’Hare International – wearing an staff ID badge that he had allegedly found, and surviving on food hand-outs from fellow travellers.
Singh arrived at the airport on a flight from Los Angeles on October 19, the Chicago Tribune reports. However, he never left.
He was arrested on Saturday, after two United Airlines employees noticed that his identification was false – and then alerted the police. He appeared in court on Sunday, charged with misdemeanor theft and criminal trespass.
He had hidden in the airport because he was “scared to go home due to Covid,” said Assistant State’s Attorney, Kathleen Hagerty, who explained that Singh had received food from other passengers.
It is not known why Singh, who lives in Orange, California, had travelled to Chicago. The court heard that he is unemployed, and has no criminal background.
“The court finds these facts and circumstances quite shocking for the alleged period of time that this occurred,” said Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz.
“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.”
However, the Chicago Department of Aviation said in a statement: “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 travelling public.”