US man hid in airport for three months due to COVID pandemic fear

A man from California has been arrested after hiding in a secured area of Chicago”s O’Hare International Airport for three months.

Aditya Singh was charged with felony criminal trespass to a restricted area and misdemeanour theft.

He told police he had been afraid to fly due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 36-year-old is being held in Cook County Jail in Chicago and could be released on $1,000 (€828) bail. He is prohibited from entering the airport.

He is scheduled to return to court at the end of the month.

Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz expressed concern that someone could remain in a secured area for so long at the airport without anyone noticing.

He reportedly arrived from Los Angeles in October and was arrested on Saturday.

“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.”

Singh did not have a criminal record and it is unclear why he was in Chicago in the first place.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Assistant State’s Attorney Kathleen Hagerty said employees from United Airlines had called police after the man showed an ID badge from an operations manager who had reported it missing in October.

Singh was “scared to go home due to COVID,” Hagerty said, and told authorities that he’d found the badge and that other passengers at the airport had given him food.

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