'Serial stowaway' arrested again at O'Hare Airport, held on $150K bond

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Marilyn Hartman, the so-called "serial stowaway" who has tried to sneak past security at Chicago airports without a ticket, is back in jail.

Hartman, 64, has a history of trying to board planes and being on or around restricted airport property. On Wednesday, she was found at a bus shuttle center at O'Hare International Airport - a violation of her probation.

"When she continues to go back to O'Hare and take the police officers who are keeping O'Hare safe, and taking their time and preventing them from dealing with other situations, I do find that on some level a threat," said Jeff Allen, Cook Co. assistant state's attorney.

Hartman had been receiving mental health treatment, most recently at a facility on the Near North Side. In court Thursday, her attorney described Hartman as a woman who is homeless, has no family support and needs to be in the care of mental health professionals.

"We did not want her treatment interrupted. We are very hopeful because Judge Raines has taken a great interest in this case that he will make sure that she continues with her treatment," said Parle Roe-Taylor, Cook Co. assistant public defender.

Hartman will likely be in jail during the legal proceedings unless a judge orders her back to treatment. And she will be among the thousands of inmates in Cook County jail with diagnosed mental illness.

"Our system has failed them," said Alexa James, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Chicago.

James said some with mental illness may very well have repeat arrests and jail stays unless they get treatment. The sheriff's office says currently about 30 percent of their inmates self-report mental illness.

"If we really treated people early on and provided early intervention, they wouldn't get to the point where they would ever have police intervention due to their mental illness," James said.

The judge ordered Hartman be held on $100,000 bond on the most recent charge of criminal trespassing and $50,000 bond for violating probation.

With her lack of resources, it's unlikely she would be able to post bond. She's due back in court next week.
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