November 10, 2020

Chicago woman snuck onto flight without ticket to see Jay-Z: prosecutors

[New York Post, CPD]

A Chicago woman skirted several layers of security and somehow boarded a plane at O’Hare International Airport without a ticket, hoping to fly to Los Angeles to see rapper Jay-Z, prosecutors said.

Yaazmina Payton, 23, was arrested at the Chicago airport early Sunday after she was identified as the woman who “boarded an airplane without proper documentation,” police said in a statement.

Prosecutors told a judge Monday that Payton was caught ducking under ropes at a Terminal 3 boarding door near the ticket gate of an American Airlines flight destined for Los Angeles when someone alerted a ticket agent, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Payton — who couldn’t provide a ticket or a boarding pass for the flight — was arrested “without incident” and later charged with felony criminal trespass, police said.

After her arrest, Payton told investigators she pushed past a gate into a secure area at the airport when Transportation Security Administration officers were distracted, the Tribune reported.

Payton, of Chicago’s Marquette Park section, has PTSD and anxiety disorder, her court-appointed attorney told a judge during Monday’s hearing.

Assistant State’s Attorney Jocelyn Schieve told a judge that Payton also confessed to storming past another security checkpoint and claimed she was trying to get to Los Angeles to see Jay-Z.

A judge ordered Payton to be released on $500 bail. She was also banned from returning to O’Hare, the Tribune reported.

A TSA spokesman told The Post Tuesday that Payton had been “successfully screened” by its agents before she entered a secure area at O’Hare.

“The safety and security of all travelers are our top priority,” spokesman Sonny Lorrius said in a statement.

American Airlines reps at O’Hare requested police assistance for a “possible security issue” during the incident, a spokeswoman for American Airlines told The Post in a statement Tuesday.

“The flight departed to LAX after law enforcement searched and cleared the aircraft for departure,” according to the statement, which referred additional inquires to Chicago police.

By Joshua Rhett Miller

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