CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Judges in Cook County, Illinois hear a lot of stories in their courtrooms, but one judge had to make sure she heard what she heard on Sunday.
Judge Susana Ortiz questioned prosecutors in bond court and was assured she heard correctly.
“So if I understand you correctly,” Ortiz said, “you’re telling me that an unauthorized, non-employee 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.”
According to the Tribune, 36-year-old Aditya Singh, a southern California man, had been living undetected for three months in a secure area of O’Hare Airport until he was arrested Saturday.
He is charged with felony criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport and misdemeanor theft.
Prosecutors said Singh arrived at O’Hare on a flight from Los Angeles on Oct. 19, and lived in a restricted area of the airport until Saturday.
Police said Singh claims he was too afraid to fly back to California because of the risk of contracting COVID-19.
Over the weekend, two United Airlines employees confronted Singh and asked to see identification. Prosecutors said Singh lowered his face mask and showed them an airport ID badge that he was wearing around his neck. When the employees found he was wearing an ID badge that belonged to someone else, they called police.
The badge actually belonged to an operations manager who had reported it missing Oct. 26.
Prosecutors said Singh reportedly found the badge in the airport and was “scared to go home due to COVID.” They said other passengers were reportedly giving him food.
It was unclear what brought Singh to Chicago and if he has any ties to the area.
According to the Tribune, as a condition of bail, Ortiz barred Singh from stepping foot in O'Hare Airport again if he is able to post the $1,000 he needs for his release. He is due back in court Jan. 27.
“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.”