A 16-year-old boy sneaked past security guards in the middle of the night and made his way to the top of Manhattan’s 1 World Trade Center, where he took photos before being arrested, authorities said Thursday.
Justin Casquejo, described as a thrill-seeker, entered the building grounds on Sunday after sneaking out of his home:
“I walked around the construction site and figured out how to access the Freedom Tower rooftop. I found a way up through the scaffolding, climbed onto the 6th floor, and took the elevator up to the 88th floor,” he was quoted as saying in a criminal complaint. “I then took the staircase up to 104th (floor). I went to the rooftop and climbed the ladder all the way to the antenna.”
That’s a height of 1,792 feet.
“He crawled through a hole in the fence at the World Trade Center site, then got on an elevator, and, even though he had no identification on him, the operator took him to the 88th floor,” the New York Post reported.
The teen then climbed the stairs to the 104th floor, where he passed a sleeping guard, got out to the roof and made his way up to the antenna, the Post said.
The Associated Press says:
“He was arrested on the premises, and his camera and cellphone were seized after authorities obtained a search warrant, said Joe Pentangelo, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police department. The Port Authority owns the trade center site.
“According to court papers, Casquejo was released without bail after being arraigned early Monday on one count of third-degree criminal trespass and one count of trespass. His lawyer didn’t immediately return a phone call Thursday seeking comment. Casquejo’s next court date was scheduled for April 2.”
The New York Daily News quotes Casquejo’s friends as saying they’d formed a “stunt loving” group they called “Team Destiny” and had probed the tower’s security on three occasions, but never managed to get past it.
“We planned it,” Steven Peralta said outside Casquejo’s Weehawken, N.J., home on Thursday. “We knew it was going to be under construction. The first time we saw security everywhere.”
This story reminds us of a similar stunt we reported on last month in which two daredevils scaled China’s Shanghai Tower and made a heart-stopping video of themselves in the process.