Arrest of Chicago’s alleged O’Hare airport squatter caught on video

on Feb1
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New video shows the moment a California man was arrested after allegedly hiding at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport undetected for three months because he was scared of the novel coroanvirus.

Footage released by the Chicago Department of Aviation and obtained by local affiliate FOX 32 Chicago shows Aditya Singh, 36, wearing what appears to be a bright-colored vest as he’s approached by uniformed employees shortly before 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 16. More police or security officers are seen arriving and, within minutes, Singh is searched and led away from the area, the video shows.

The Orange, Calif., man was charged with felony criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport and misdemeanor theft. He was released on electric monitoring but was ordered to stay away from the airport.

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During a hearing earlier this month, Assistant State’s Attorney Kathleen Hagerty said that Singh was spotted by two United Airlines employees, who asked him for identification, the Chicago Tribune reported. Singh lowered his mask and showed a badge that actually belonged to an operations manager at the airport who had reported it missing in late October, Hagerty said.

The employees called police, who took Singh into custody. 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.

On January 16, 2021 at approx.: 11:21am Aditya Udai Singh, 33 was arrested at O'Hare airport and charged with impersonation in a restricted area of the airport, and theft of less than $500. (Chicago Police Department)

On January 16, 2021 at approx.: 11:21am Aditya Udai Singh, 33 was arrested at O’Hare airport and charged with impersonation in a restricted area of the airport, and theft of less than $500. (Chicago Police Department)
(Chicago Police Department)

An assistant public defender said Singh does not have a criminal record. She also said it was unclear why Singh, who is unemployed, came to Chicago or if he has ties to the area.

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Before she granted Singh bail, Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz was clearly troubled that someone could remain in a secured area for so long at the airport without anyone noticing.

“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.”

Prosecutors later revealed Singh had flown from Los Angeles to the Chicago airport on Oct. 20 but was too scared of COVID-19 to leave the airport, according to local news station WMAQ-TV.  

In addition to the badge, which Singh said he discovered in Terminal 3 of the airport, the man was also found to have been in possession of “a big ring of keys with about 50 keys, round bronze tag (REDACTED) and a clip for belt loop,” according to WMAQ, which cited a police dispatch log.

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He allegedly told police he also found the keys in Terminal 3.

Singh told police he survived by “asking other passengers for money,” according to the report. He allegedly griped about exhausting his funds and said he was “trying to figure out his next move.”

His next court date is slated for March 2.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 



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