Teen's World Trade Center Climb to the Top Raises Security Questions

Image: Teen's World Trade Center Climb to the Top Raises Security Questions

Thursday, 20 Mar 2014 03:59 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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A New Jersey teen sneaked through a fence around the construction site at the World Trade Center and climbed to the top of the building Thursday, raising questions about the level of security at the site.

Juustin Casquejo, 16, of Weekhawen, N.J., was arrested in the lobby of the building after entering the site about 4 a.m., The New York Times said. A spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the building, said that the teen apparently climbed through a 12-inch by 12-inch hole in the fencing around the site.

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The New York Post, which first reported the story, said Casquejo rode an elevator to the 88th floor, climbed the stairs to the 104th floor, slipped past a sleeping guard, and climbed to the antenna that stands 1,776 feet above the ground.

Joseph Pentangelo, spokesman for the Port Authority, didn’t answer a question from Reuters about the sleeping WTC guard, telling the news agency, “I’m going to characterize it as ‘inattentive.’” The guard was fired.

“[The teen] came here and he ran hog wild,” a WTC worker told the Post.

The Post called to talk to Casquejo, and reported that he laughed about the incident. “Ha, ha, oh yeah, that. Right. I would really love to talk to you guys because I have a lot that I want to say about it,” he told a Post reporter. “I was told that I just can’t without permission.”

But he did tell the Post that the incident was “inspired.”

The elevator operator who took Casquejo up 88 floors without questioning him has been reassigned, the Post said.

“We take security and these type of infractions extremely seriously and will prosecute violators,” Joseph Dunne, the Port Authority’s chief security officer, said in a statement.

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