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Man Allegedly Hid From Coronavirus And Authorities In Chicago Airport For 3 Months

A California man was arrested Saturday and accused of hiding in a restricted area of Chicago's O'Hare International Airport for three months. The man told police that COVID-19 had rendered him too scared to travel home to California, so he hid in the airport, surviving on food provided by strangers, The Associated Press reported.

United Airlines staff spotted 36-year-old Aditya Singh and requested identification. They said he removed his mask and presented a badge, which belonged to an airport operations manager who reported it missing last October, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Singh faces felony charges of criminal trespass in a restricted area of an airport as well as misdemeanor theft charges. Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz set bail at $1,000. She also said if he came up with the money, he would be prohibited from returning to the airport, AP reported.

The hearing took place Sunday, where the judge was concerned that an individual had remained undetected in a secure area for so long.

"The court finds these facts and circumstances quite shocking for the alleged period of time that this occurred," Ortiz 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 has another hearing on Jan. 27.

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Dustin Jones is a reporter for NPR's digital news desk. He mainly covers breaking news, but enjoys working on long-form narrative pieces.