A man who lived in a Chicago airport for three months to avoid the COVID-19 crisis at home was found not guilty on trespassing charges, a report said.
Aditya Singh, 37, had been busted in O’Hare International Airport in January and accused of living in a secure area there since he had arrived in October 2020.
Singh was on his way back home to India after living in the US for several years.
He was caught with an airport ID badge that had been reported stolen days after Singh touched down at O’Hare from California.
Singh had been afraid of flying and returning home during the pandemic, prosecutors said – and instead he lived in an area where he ate at airport eateries and used the public restrooms, prosecutors said.
A Cook County judge ruled Singh was not guilty on Tuesday, but he faces another charge on Friday, The Chicago Tribune reported. That stems from Singh allegedly violating an electronic monitoring condition of his release while out on bond earlier this year, the Tribune said.
The Transportation Security Administration had previously found Singh’s temporary residency didn’t violate any regulations.
“Mr. Singh did not breach or improperly enter secured areas — he arrived there like tens of thousands of arriving passengers do every day, by stepping off a plane,” spokeswoman Christine Carrino told the Tribune.
“While we won’t speculate on Mr. Singh’s motivations, he decided to remain in the secure area and made every effort to blend in as a passenger and airline employee until his arrest.”
Singh had received a master’s degree in Oklahoma, which he completed in 2019, before moving to California, according to the newspaper.