Man charged with sneaking past O’Hare security checkpoint weeks after being arrested with hatchet at Terminal 5

Eduardo Manzo | CPD

A Chicago man who was charged with walking through a terminal at O’Hare International Airport with a hatchet last month returned to the airport on Friday and managed to slip past a TSA checkpoint to enter the Terminal 3 secure zone, prosecutors said Monday. Police allegedly found him hiding behind a service desk at one of the gates.

But wait. There’s more. Eduardo Manzo’s airport escapades actually began when he allegedly walked into a secure area of the airfield around 8:42 p.m. on July 19, according to CPD records. He was charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass to land and walked out of the police station on a recognizance bond less than five hours later.

About 14 hours later, at 3:14 p.m. on July 20, police arrested the 23-year-old again after airport security saw him walking through the upper level of Terminal 5 with a hatchet, prosecutors said. He managed to toss the hatchet into a trash can before cops caught up with him, but officers recovered the hand ax, according to prosecutors.

He was charged with misdemeanor reckless conduct and misdemeanor trespass to state land that time. His bond was set at $5,000, but he got out again a few days later, court records show.

Last Monday evening, he was charged with trespassing and shoplifting at a store in Water Tower Place. He was released on a recognizance bond six hours later, according to CPD records.

Manzo returned to O’Hare on Friday, prosecutors said. Surveillance video shows he hopped over a fenced area near the TSA checkpoint at Terminal 3 and then passed through the security screening station as if he were a passenger, prosecutors said.

Around 8:30 p.m., police responded to a call of a suspicious person near gate L5. Cops allegedly found Manzo hiding behind a desk used by airline service agents. He had no identification and no boarding pass, prosecutors said.

On Monday, he was once again charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing. Manzo was not in court for his bond hearing because he was undergoing a mental health evaluation, a police officer told Judge Charles Beach.

The judge set bail for the latest trespassing charge at $20,000. Beach also ordered Manzo held on a total of $40,000 bail for a warrant and violations of bail bonds in three pending cases.

Manzo is not the first person to raise concerns about O’Hare’s security practices.

In January, a California man who was afraid to fly due to COVID-19 was accused of living inside the airport’s secure zone for nearly three months before officials caught up with him.

Prosecutors said Aditya Singh, 36, arrived at Terminal 2 from Los Angeles on October 19 and then lived in the terminals until January 16.

Singh had an airport worker’s misplaced credentials when police interviewed him after receiving a “suspicious person” call from two United Airlines employees, prosecutors said. He survived for three months “largely from other passengers giving him food,” Assistant State’s Attorney Kathleen Hagerty said.

“You’re telling me that an unauthorized, non-employee individual was allegedly living within the secure part of the O’Hare airport terminal… and was not detected?” Judge Susana Ortiz asked after hearing the allegations this winter.

“That is correct, your honor,” Hagerty confirmed.

Singh’s case is still pending.

But the queen of O’Hare security breaches is 70-year-old Marilyn Hartman, who has been arrested for sneaking past security zones and onto planes at O’Hare and other airports nearly two dozen times since 2014.

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