Teen arrested for sneaking to top of WTC

Teen arrested for sneaking to top of WTC

CLIMB: Justin Casquejo, 16, of Weehawken, New Jersey, was carrying his camera when he crawled through a small hole in the construction fence encircling the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan shortly after 4 a.m. on Sunday morning. Photo: Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A teenage boy was arrested after sneaking into One World Trade Center, which is still under construction in New York City and is the nation’s tallest building, and ascending its 104 floors to the antenna, police said on Thursday.

Justin Casquejo, 16, of Weehawken, New Jersey, was carrying his camera when he crawled through a small hole in the construction fence encircling the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan shortly after 4 a.m. on Sunday morning, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey said.

He then clambered up scaffolding to enter the building, took an elevator to the 88th floor and climbed stairs to the tower’s antenna, which rises 1,776 feet above the ground.

Joseph Pentangelo, a spokesman for the Port Authority, the public agency that owns the building, declined to directly address reports that the guard assigned to protect the skyscraper’s upper floors was asleep at the time.

“I’m going to characterize it as ‘inattentive’”, he said, adding that the guard had since been fired.

Port Authority police arrested Casquejo inside the building about two hours after he first entered, Pentangelo said.

Casquejo said on his Facebook page he was keen on the running and jumping sport of parkour and posted pictures of himself posing with the World Trade Center in the background,

The New York Post reported. His Facebook page appeared to have been removed on Thursday morning.

Casquejo was charged with two counts of trespass and arraigned on Monday before being released, according to the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

One count of criminal trespass in the third degree carries a maximum sentence of 90 days in prison; one count of trespass carries a maximum sentence of 15 days in prison.

Casquejo could not immediately be reached for comment. A lawyer representing him declined to comment.

The Port Authority has spent millions of dollars on security measures for the skyscraper, which is due to open later this year and which replaces the Twin Towers that were destroyed by Al Qaeda hijackers on September 11, 2001.

Joseph Dunn, the Port Authority’s chief security officer, said in a statement that the agency takes security breaches “extremely seriously”.

“We continue to reassess our security posture at the site and we are constantly working to make this site as secure as possible,” the statement said.

(Reporting By Jonathan Allen; editing by Andrew Hay)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

This weekend’s celebrity birthdays


A look at the celebrities who will be celebrating this weekend.

in Music

CHART TOPPERS: This week’s top country tracks


LISTEN: This week's top country tracks, according to the latest Billboard charts.

in Entertainment

WATCH: 10 best ‘Simpsons’ episodes

In this photo released by Fox, Homer explains why he wants to bring back the annual 4th of July fireworks display, after it's cancelled for budget reasons, in the "Yellow Badge of Cowardge" Season Finale episode of "The Simpsons," in May 2014. The full 25-year run of "The Simpsons" will arrive on cable channel FXX with a summer marathon, to be paired this fall with a digital extravaganza that could turn other TV shows yellow with envy. "I'm not going to over-promise, but I think this website will provide you with affordable health care," longtime "Simpsons" executive producer Al Jean told a TV critics' meeting Monday, July 21, 2014.

The recent marathon of all 552 episodes of "The Simpsons" inspired us to sit down and come up with our 10 favorite episodes. Enjoy!

in Entertainment

Lena Dunham and Kate Mara hit by a falling sign

Lena Dunham, of HBO's "Girls," arrives at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards held at The Nokia Theatre  in Los Angeles.

The "Girls" and "House of Cards" actresses saw stars of their own after an accident at a Venice premiere.

in Lifestyle

Rice replaces ice in India bucket challenge

An Indian school boy eats a midday meal provided free at a government school in Hyderabad, India, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013. India has offered free midday school meals since the 1960s in an effort to persuade poor parents to send their children to school, a program that reaches some 120 million children. The country now plans to subsidize wheat, rice and cereals for some 800 million people under a $20 billion scheme to cut malnutrition and ease poverty.

The famous "ice bucket" challenge is inspiring thousands of Indians to follow suit, but with a twist - they are replacing ice with rice to help the country's hungry people.