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According to a media source, a 37-year-old Indian man was acquitted today 28th oct on a felony trespassing charge after spending three months unnoticed at a protected area at one of the world’s busiest airports, drawing analogies to the 2004 Tom Hanks film ‘The Terminal.’ His name, Aditya Singh, who was afraid to fly due to the coronavirus pandemic and went unnoticed for nearly three months at O’Hare International Airport, one of the world’s busiest airports, was arrested on January 16 2021.
Aditya Singh had completed a master’s programme at Oklahoma State University in summer 2019, he moved to Orange, California, southeast of Los Angeles, and lived with a man who told the Tribune that he had offered Singh a place to live in exchange for helping him care for his elderly father and other odd jobs. Aditya Singh’s visa was now expiring, the man said, so he planned in October 2020 to return to India, where he says his mother lives. O’Hare Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world for takeoffs and landings, with pre-pandemic passenger numbers of 84.6 million per year. The court found however Singh not guilty of felony criminal trespass charge to a restricted area of an airport on Tuesday. Without the need for the defense to present a case, Judge Adrienne Davis issued a directed verdict to Singh. Aditya Singh, however is still facing a second charge of evading arrest for allegedly violating electronic monitoring while out on bond earlier this year. The case is set to be heard in court on Friday, 29th Oct 2021.
Singh boarded a Chicago-bound airplane from Los Angeles on October 19, 2020, to begin his journey back to India after nearly six years in the United States to complete a master’s degree program. He was never able to make it.
According to prosecutors, Singh informed police that the coronavirus pandemic made him terrified to fly probably because of the Covid 19 pandemic, so he stayed in the airport instead, relying on strangers from the airport to buy him food. Singh had hid in the airport’s protected public restricted area, which provided him with access to stores, food, and even public restrooms, until he was apprehended by two United Airlines employees who demanded to see his identification. The Prosecutors said he handed them an airport ID badge that had been reported lost by an operations manager.
His arrest had made national news all over the country, with analogies to Tom Hanks’ film “The Terminal.” An investigation has been begun by the Transportation Security Administration.
According to Aditya Singh’s associate public defense, Courtney Smallwood, who said that since Singh’s is Allegedly accused of being in the airport restricted area but has has no proof that Singh exited the protected public side of the airport, The public defense said Singh did not break any airport rules, Christine Carrino, an aviation department spokeswoman, also had claimed Aditya Singh did not breach or inappropriately access protected areas because he arrived like tens of thousands of other passengers do every day, simply by stepping off a plane like everyone else.
While we won’t speculate on Singh’s reasons, but the main crime here is that he chose to stay in the protected area and tried to pass himself off as a passenger and airline employee until he was apprehended. According to the news at this time 28th Oct 2021, Aditya Singh, however has never been convicted of a crime.