New Jersey teen sneaks to the top of 1 World Trade Center: prosecutors

One World Trade Center. Credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images
1 World Trade Center. Credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

A ballsy New Jersey teen snuck his way to the top of America’s tallest building on Sunday morning, officials said.

Justin Casquejo, 16, was arrested around 6 a.m. after police said he bypassed security and guards at 1 World Trade Center, making his way to the 104th floor.

Casquejo climbed through a 1-foot opening in a fence surrounding the building’s construction site at around 4:10, according to Joseph Pentangelo, a spokesman for the Port Authority Police Department.

“I found a way up through the scaffolding, climbed onto the 6th floor, and took the elevator up to the 88th floor. I then took the staircase up to 104th,” the teen is quoted as telling police, according to a criminal complaint.

On that floor, Pentangelo said, Casquejo eluded an “inattentive” security guard. The guard, who worked for a contractor, has since been fired.

Investigators believe Casquejo spent nearly two hours on top of the building, but it’s still unclear how he spent that time.

When he was finally arrested around 6 a.m., a camera and his cellphone were seized, but investigators are still looking into whether Casquejo snuck up the tower to take photos.

Casquejo was charged with criminal trespass, a misdemeanor, as well as a trespass violation.

He was released without bail after being arraigned early Monday. Casquejo’s attorney said she did not have any comment on the case through a Legal Aid Society spokeswoman Thursday.

The investigation into the breach is ongoing.

“We take security and these types of infractions extremely seriously and will prosecute violators,” Joseph Dunne, chief security officer for the Port Authority, said in a statement. “We continue to reassess our security posture at the site and are currently working to make this site as secure as possible.”

The tower is expected to open this year.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter @AnnaESanders



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