World Trade Center: Trespassing Teen Prevents Terrorism?

World Trade CenterA trespassing teen from New Jersey, bypasses multiple security checkpoints at 1World Trade Center, making his way to the roof-top, then climbing up to  the antenna atop the 1,776 foot building, which some have referred to as “one of the most secure high-rises on earth,” and now some are wondering if this incident will lead to a safety upgrade that may help prevent terrorism. The security guard in charge of guarding the top floor was apparently inattentive to his post, allowing the teen to make his way past, climbing up to the very top of the 104-floor building. Investigators are still baffled as to how the teen was able to breach other checkpoints as well, along his way up.

World Trade Center
Justin Casquejo

The climber has been identified as Justin Casquejo, a New Jersey teenager 16, who friends describe as a “thrill-seeker.” One friend of the teen, told reporters how Casquejo would be quick to top others crazy stunts saying, “Oh that’s nothing,” then adding, “Watch what I can do.”

Casquejo was arrested Sunday morning on charges of trespassing when he was caught by police, after a construction worker reported seeing someone climbing down the building.

According to reports the teen claimed he was walking around the construction site when he figured out a way to “access the Freedom Tower rooftop.” Law enforcement sources told reporters that security video suggests the young man was attempting to be “stealthy,” to avoid being detected, as he moved about on the World Trade Center property.

The teen stated that he “found a way up” through the scaffolding up to the sixth floor, then finding an elevator, he took it up to the 88 floor, where he then got off and “took the stairs” the rest of the way to the 104 floor. Once the boy made it to the rooftop, he said he then climbed the ladder “all the way to the antenna.” So far one security guard that was on duty has been fired as a result of the breach, according to Joe Pentangelo, who is a spokesman for the Port Authority.

The mission to the top for the young thrill seeker was said to be a two hour journey, to have taken place around 4:00 am, to the time where the teen was arrested in the lobby at 6:00 am Sunday morning.

Casquejo has mentioned that he is a fan of the urban sport of parkour, which has been described as being like street gymnastics in the way that obstacles are hurdled, or buildings are scaled, like film star Jackie Chan does in his action movies. Casquejo has also claimed to be a part of a parkour team, and 1 World Trade Center just happened to be a  location of sudden interest.

Although law enforcement officials do acknowledge this was most likely just a thrill seeking teen, playing a prank of sorts, they say, security breach issues like these must be taken seriously and “violators” of such acts will be prosecuted. The charge of criminal trespassing in this case is a misdemeanor crime which the teen could face incarceration for.

Questions are also being raised as to how this incident may affect terrorism precautions in the future at 1 World Trade Center, and if this single teen dare-devil who slips past their trained security has actually been a blessing in disguise?  Sources suggest a dangerous and illegal stunt like this, may prompt new security measures to prevent such a breach from happening in the future with far greater consequences.

By, Aaron Thompson


ABC news


NY Times

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