Teen Scales 1 World Trade Center, Sits On Roof, Chills Out... And No-One Notices
Sixteen-year-old Justin Casquejo had quite the morning last Sunday, successfully breaking into and ascending to the top of 1 World Trade Center, eluding detection by security. The scheme, hatched with a group of friends but executed solely by Casquejo, closely toed the line between daring escapade and troubling break-in. And it testified both to the reckless abandon of youth... and substandard security around the towering skyscraper.
Casquejo and his friends refer to themselves as "Team Destiny," a cadre of daring young stunt-goers who got it in mind to try to sneak into the yet-to-be-opened tower, taking advantage of its in-construction status to slip past the perimeter unnoticed. The group made three trips out to case the surroundings of WTC1, looking for ways in, but when it came time for action, it was Casquejo alone who took the risk.
Casquejo entered the building through a one-foot by one-foot hole in the surrounding fence. He scaled scaffolding for six floors; convinced an unquestioning elevator operator to take him all the way up to floor 88; slipped past a slumbering security guard on floor 104; and then chilled out on the roof, under the building's spire, snapping some photos.
One of the friends who was in on the plot, Steven Peralta, summed it up pretty well: "He's definitely the one with the balls!"
It's not all fun and games, though. The sleeping security guard comes as a particular surprise, and a concerning one at that, given the site's history, and its presumed continuing status as a prime target for terrorism. A spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the building, has stated publicly that one "inattentive" guard was fired as a result of the breach.
Port Authority chief security officer Joseph Dunne released a statement after the news broke.
We take security and these type of infractions extremely seriously and will prosecute violators. We continue to reassess our security posture at the site and we are constantly working to make this site as secure as possible.
Casquejo was arrested for two misdemeanor counts of criminal trespassing and is scheduled to appear in court in early April. He could face up to three months in jail if convicted.