Aditya Singh is charged with illegal trespassing for staying at Chicago airport, claiming fear of COVID is the cause.
A California man who told police the coronavirus pandemic left him scared to fly has been arrested for hiding in a secure area at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport for three months, multiple points reported sale Monday.
Aditya Singh, 36, has been charged with felony trespassing in a restricted area of an airport and theft of misdemeanor after her arrest on Saturday.
In a court hearing on Sunday, a judge ruled that Singh, who lived in Orange County, Calif., Could be released if he paid $ 1,000, but said he was prohibited from putting feet at the airport, the Associated Press news agency reported.
Singh remained in the Cook County Jail database on Tuesday. His bond is set at $ 10,000.
Deputy Public Defender Courtney Smallwood said Singh did not have a criminal record. She also said it was not clear why Singh, who is unemployed, came to Chicago or if he has ties to the area.
At the hearing, Assistant State Attorney Kathleen Hagerty said Singh was spotted by two United Airlines employees, who asked him for identification, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Singh took off his mask and showed a badge that actually belonged to an airport operations manager who reported her missing in late October, Hagerty said.
The employees called the police, who took Singh into custody. Singh was “afraid to go home because of the COVID,” Hagerty said and told authorities he found the badge and other passengers at the airport gave him food.
There are more than 24 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States and almost 400,000 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.
Carl Jones, a former owner of Singh’s, told the Chicago Tribune that the accused was a “sweet soul” who was supposed to return home to India.
Mary Steele, who the Tribune said had known Singh since at least 2018, said he was “deeply spiritual” and that he “No wickedness in his heart or ill will.”
Prior to giving Singh bail, Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz was clearly troubled that someone could stay in a secure area for so long at the airport without anyone noticing.
“The court finds these facts and circumstances quite shocking for the alleged period in which this occurred,” the judge said. “Being in a secure part of the airport under a fake identity badge allegedly, based on the need for airports to be absolutely secure so that people feel safe to travel, I find these alleged actions make him a danger to the community.
Singh is expected to return to court on January 27, the Cook County Jail website says.