Serial stowaway sentenced to 6 months house arrest

CHICAGO (STMW) - Serial stowaway Marilyn Hartman was sentenced to six months of house arrest on Thursday as punishment for her latest escapade, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

Hartman, who has a history of arrests for trying to sneak onto airplanes, also was placed on two years’ mental health probation. She will serve the house arrest at Margaret Manor, the mental health facility where she now lives.

“This is a going to basically be a jail sentence,” Judge William Raines said after a morning hearing in Cook County Circuit Court’s misdemeanor branch, 5555 W. Grand Ave.

“You cannot leave Margaret Manor. If you walk out on the street, you’re going to jail. … We’ve had a lot of conversations (about) you. … At this point, I’m thinking about punishment.”

Raines said Hartman will pay the costs of her own confinement and treatment from her Social Security, and risks a $2,500 fine for any probation violation. Under the terms of that probation, she can’t go to any airports, train stations or even bus stops.

Raines also barred Hartman from contacting the media, noting the contingent of reporters seated behind Hartman — and that the coverage of her attempt to sneak onto planes seemed to be exacerbating her mental health issues.

“I think you’re addicted to the attention,” Raines said.

Hartman, 64, and her attorney, as well as a mental health professional, had gone into conference in the judge’s chambers after she arrived in court.

That conference lasted about 20 minutes, after which Hartman was taken from the courtroom to await the judge’s ruling.

She was being held on $150,000 bail after she was arrested Feb. 17 at O’Hare International Airport and charged with misdemeanor counts of violating probation and trespassing on state land, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

Hartman has a history of arrests for trying to sneak onto planes. She was arrested twice in July 2015 – once at O’Hare and once at Midway — in a period of two days.

In the first of those incidents, she got on a plane — this time with a valid boarding pass — but was escorted off for “causing a disturbance,” according to Chicago Police. She was charged with reckless conduct, a misdemeanor, and released.

The next day, she tried to get past security at O’Hare without a ticket, but was recognized by security workers and charged with criminal trespass and a bail bond violation, the police said.

Those arrests came not long after she spent almost two months in jail on a previous guilty plea. At the time of her release — and just before the next two arrests — she had told reporters she was done with stowaway attempts and would stay out of airports unless she had a ticket.

“If I have a ticket, I can go,” she said then. “If I have a ticket to ride. Sounds like a song.”

In April and May of 2015, Hartman was arrested after trying several times to get past security at O’Hare and Midway. She has also tried numerous times in recent years to board flights without a ticket and succeeded at least once, flying from San Jose, California, to Los Angeles last August on a Southwest Airlines flight after slipping past an agent checking a family’s boarding passes and somehow getting past a gate agent.

She has offered little in the way of explanation for her behavior, once telling reporters: “Even smart people do stupid things.”