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
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.
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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
"We continue to reassess our security posture at the site and we are
constantly working to make this site as secure as possible," the
(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; editing by Andrew Hay)
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