‘Serial Stowaway’ Is Arrested at O’Hare (Again), 2 Days After TV Confessional
A woman notorious for evading airport security and sneaking aboard planes without a ticket was arrested in Chicago this week, days after she was heard on a zippy television news report that promised such escapades was behind her would lie.
Ms. Marilyn Hartman, dubbed a “serial stowaway” by the local news media, was arrested Tuesday at O’Hare International Airport for crime and escape from crime. Her presence at O’Hare violated her 2019 suspended sentence when she was arrested at the same airport for trying to bypass security without a passport or boarding pass.
Over the years, Ms. Hartman, 69, has appeared in at least 22 similar episodes – some successfully – at airports across the country. In 2014, she was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport after sneaking on a flight from San Jose, California, The Chicago Tribune reported. She was released with a warning several times, including twice at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
In 2018 she successfully boarded a flight to London without a ticket or passport.
In an exclusive report shown on CBS2 Chicago this week, Ms. Hartman said she had boarded planes without a ticket at least 30 times. “The first time I got through, I flew to Copenhagen,” she told the station. “The second time I flew to Paris.”
Ms. Hartman said she agreed to be interviewed only if she was “confident that I would no longer take an illegal flight”. She was arrested in O’Hare two days after the report was presented.
At a bond court hearing on Thursday, Andrea Lubelfeld, a lawyer for Ms. Hartman, said her client was extremely upset after the CBS2 report and that she had traveled to O’Hare for the first time in over a year. according to The Tribune.
“She has a mental illness that was triggered by something that is beyond her control,” the newspaper quoted Ms. Lubelfeld as saying.
At around noon Tuesday, Ms. Hartman, who was being monitored electronically, left the temporary accommodation where she was staying, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s office.
Authorities found that she was headed towards O’Hare. About an hour later, they notified the Chicago police that they were near Terminal 1.
“An alarm siren was activated on Hartman’s device and she was taken into custody by the Chicago police,” said a statement from the Sheriff’s Office. “Hartman has not entered any safe areas.”
R. Carter Langston, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, noted that Ms. Hartman was spotted at the airport by a vigilant TSA officer “who alerted airport law enforcement to her presence” before she could approach a security checkpoint.
“When a passenger bypasses one of the many levels of security at an airport checkpoint, TSA takes it very seriously,” he said in a statement.
The Chicago Department of Aviation, which manages O’Hare, did not immediately respond to inquiries on Thursday.
The sheriff’s office requested permission to accuse Ms. Hartman of fleeing crime, the statement said. Ms. Hartman is being held in Cook County Jail with no option for release, said Parle Roe-Taylor, another lawyer for Ms. Hartman.
Prior to the last arrest, Ms. Hartman was “well placed, actively involved in her treatment, making progress and looking forward to a positive resolution,” Ms. Roe-Taylor said in a statement.
“The prison system is ill-equipped to treat or help clients like Ms. Hartman,” said Ms. Roe-Taylor, adding, “We need to do better than just imprisoning people with mental health problems. Our criminal justice system is not a facility for mental health treatment. “
Ms. Hartman has been on the law enforcement radar for years.
In 2015, she told investigators that she boarded a plane in Minnesota without a ticket and flew to Jacksonville, Florida, according to an arrest report received from NBC News.
Ms. Hartman’s first O’Hare arrest came in 2015, according to The Chicago Tribune, when she was charged with offenses on state property. Since then, she has been involved in eight other airport incidents in the Chicago area.
In 2018, Ms. Hartman snuck on a British Airways flight and traveled to Heathrow Airport, where she was arrested by customs officials, the Chicago Police Department said in a press release at the time.
In this episode, she was caught by O’Hare surveillance cameras without a boarding pass or passport while walking through the airport. She hid her face with her hair as she walked past two TSA officers checking other passengers’ boarding passes, a Cook County attorney spokeswoman said at the time.
On her return to the United States, she was charged with theft and misdemeanor.
She was still on parole from the London flight when she was pulled over at O’Hare in October 2019 for attempting to go through a security checkpoint without proper documentation. She was sent to Cook County Jail, where she stayed until a year ago when she was released to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, The Tribune reported. In April, Cook County Jail was the best known source of coronavirus infections in the country, according to the New York Times.
In the CBS2 report, Ms. Hartman says she was “in a depressed state” when she made the flights.
She stated that she would evade safety by “following someone – he would carry like a blue bag”.
“And next thing I know, I’ll get on the TSA line and TSA let me through,” she said. “You think I’m with the guy in the blue bag.”