Strange but true: Indian American caught for living in O’Hare for 3 months


In what sounds like a Hollywood movie script, a man has been hiding out in an American airport for almost three months. However, there isn’t a cinematic, heart-rendering ending to this story.

Aditya Singh, 36, an Indian American from Los Angeles had been living out in Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport since October 19, 2020, undetected by authorities.

However, his secured hideout came to light, and Singh charged with felony criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport and misdemeanor theft, on Monday, January 18.

According to the US authorities, Singh had told them that he was too scared to venture anywhere outside for the fear getting infected with the coronavirus.

As per media reports, Singh arrived at O’Hare on Oct 19, in a flight from Los Angeles and has ever since allegedly living in the airport’s security zone without detection. He was arrested after two United Airlines staff asked him to produce his identification. He showed them a badge, but it reportedly belonged to an operations manager who reported it missing in October.

Susana Ortiz, the Cook County judge who is handling this case judge expressed shock and surprise at the circumstances of the case.

“So if I understand you correctly, 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,” said Ortiz said.

The judge added, “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.”

According to Assistant Public Defender Courtney Smallwood, Singh lives in the Los Angeles suburb of Orange with roommates and does not have a criminal background. He has a master’s degree in hospitality and is unemployed. Though the circumstances were unusual, the allegations were non-violent, acknowledged Smallwood.

Singh has been barred from entering the airport if he is able to post the USD 1,000 for bail. He is due back in court on January 27.