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Video shows moment Chicago airport squatter is arrested

Moment squatter, 36, who lived at Chicago airport for three months because he was ‘scared to fly due to COVID’ is arrested by police while wearing a bright yellow safety vest and a staff badge

  • New video shows the moment Aditya Singh, 36, was arrested on January 16 after living at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport for three months
  • A group of officers approached Singh, who was wearing a yellow safety vest, and searched him before escorting him away
  • He had flown from Los Angeles to Chicago on October 19
  • He was reportedly ‘too scared to fly home to LA because of COVID’ 
  • He allegedly posed as an airport employee and when he was confronted by two United Airlines workers he showed them an airport identification badge he found
  • He was charged with felony criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport and misdemeanor theft of less than $500

Aditya Singh, 36, was arrested on January 16 after living as a squatter at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport for three months

New security footage shows the moment a man who lived undetected for three months at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport was arrested while wearing a yellow safety vest.

Aditya Singh, 36, was arrested on January 16 after living as a squatter in the airport for months without suspicion.

Singh, who is unemployed and lived with ‘roommates’ in Orange, Los Angeles, had flow to Chicago on October 19 and was ‘too scared to fly home to LA because of COVID,’ Assistant State’s Attorney Kathleen Hagerty said.

Instead of leaving, Singh decided to hunker down inside a secure section of the airport.

He allegedly posed as an airport worker when he was questioned by uniformed police officers outside a restroom at the airport, the busiest in the nation.

New video footage of his arrest shows the moment officers stop to question Singh outside a men's restroom at the airport on January 16. He wore a bright yellow safety vest and sweatpants

New video footage of his arrest shows the moment officers stop to question Singh outside a men’s restroom at the airport on January 16. He wore a bright yellow safety vest and sweatpants 

In the footage Singh complies with a police pat down and search before he's escorted away

In the footage Singh complies with a police pat down and search before he’s escorted away

Police said he was found in possession of an airport operation manager¿s security credential badge that was reported misplaced around the time Singh started living at the airport

Police said he was found in possession of an airport operation manager’s security credential badge that was reported misplaced around the time Singh started living at the airport

Video footage of the arrest obtained by ABC News shows a group of officers stop to question him and he holds out his arms to be searched before walking off with them.

He was found in possession of an airport operation manager’s security credential badge that was reported it missing on October 26, around the time Singh started living at the airport.

Singh, who has a master’s degree in hospitality and no criminal background, said he survived on food from other airport passengers.

He reportedly made a home for himself in Terminal 2 near gate F12 between the Cinnabon shop and a shoe shine stand, according to Fox25

He was ultimately arrested when two United Airlines employees became suspicious about him and confronted Singh, who then showed him the airport identification badge he had found. 

He was charged with felony criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport and misdemeanor theft of less than $500.

Singh pictured when he was a graduate student at Oklahoma State University

Singh pictured above in a social media photo

Singh pictured left when he was a graduate student at Oklahoma State University and right in a social media photo

Shortly after his arrest Singh was released on $10,000 bond and required to wear an electronic ankle bracelet and took up residence at a Chicago homeless shelter, according to NBC Chicago. 

As a condition of bail he’s been ordered to stay away from the airport. His next court date is scheduled for March 2 in Skokie. 

The Chicago Department of Aviation said in a statement: ‘While this incident remains under investigation, we have been able to determine that this gentleman did not pose a security risk to the airport or to the traveling public.’

‘We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners on a thorough investigation of this matter,’ the statement added.  

Friends of Singh have expressed shock at the news that he squatted at the airport.

He was ultimately arrested when two United Airlines employees became suspicious about him and confronted Singh, who then showed him the airport identification badge he had found

He was ultimately arrested when two United Airlines employees became suspicious about him and confronted Singh, who then showed him the airport identification badge he had found

‘It seemed very unlike him to do something like just disengage from the outside world,’ Adam Dinkledine, who shared a house with Singh when they were both students at Oklahoma State University in the fall of 2017 said.

‘I definitely would not have seen that coming at all. I hope that he can get some help that is appropriate for this situation,’ he added.

‘He’d walk into a room and he’d lighten up the space. He was a super good example of what a person in the hospitality industry seeks to do, which is engage others, and inspire others,’ Katherine Ruck, who worked with Singh at Oklahoma State’s Taylor’s Dining Room, a restaurant linked to the campus’ Hospitality School said.  

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