Daredevil Fil-Am teen breaks through WTC security

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

March 21, 2014

NEW YORK – Now on its final stages of construction, One World Trade Center is supposed to be one of the most secure and safest places in New York. But that doesn’t seem to be the case.

At around 4 a.m. on March 16, a Filipino-American New Jersey teen described as a thrill-seeker sneaked past security and made it to the top of Manhattan’s tallest building.

Justin Alexander Casquejo, 16, was arrested and was charged with trespassing. Port Authority police told Balitang America that if found guilty, Casquejo may be in jail for up to a year for criminal trespass.

Cil Susara Casquejo, Justin’s father, confirmed for Balitang America that his son is Filipino.

Investigators say that Casquejo found a way up through the scaffolding, climbed onto the sixth floor, took an elevator to the 88th floor and took the staircase up to the 104th floor. At the rooftop, he climbed a ladder all the way to the antenna, according to a CNN report.

Sources also say that Casquejo sneaked past a sleeping security guard, who has since been fired, and he stayed at the Spire for two hours to take pictures of the view.

He was arrested on his way out when construction workers spotted him trying to leave the premises.

Casquejo tweeted today: “I seriously apologize to anyone who may have been insulted or felt disrespected by my actions. It was not my intention to do so.”

He has not responded to Balitang America’s request for an interview, but a New York Post report says that Casquejo was quoted saying, “I would really love to talk to you guys because I have a lot that I want to say about it. I was told that I just can’t [talk] without permission.”

Casquejo’s past tweets show that he’s a daredevil. He posted photos of himself scaling a Hoboken crane, hanging from a crane without any safety precautions, and took pictures of his adventures.

He also tweeted: “How can anyone be comfortable with a boring life.”

In the past he tweeted, “I don’t know what I need in my life, but I need it soon.”

He then tweeted, “I need a (BLEEPING) therapist.”

He also said that the last thing he wants is to be a normal person.

As the police investigation continues, the biggest question right now is how a Weehawken, NJ teen scaled the 1,776 foot tall building without being detected right away.

WTC Building Superintendent Cecil Danis said, “I mean how could a kid, he’s what 16? 15? Get up there and go like he’s in the picture.”

But his epic adventure is also an epic failure for the World Trade Center Security.

Casquejo’s case is now in the hands of the New York District Attorney and he is scheduled to appear in court in April.

You can contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com for more information.

2 Comments on this post.

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  • Kuya
    23 March 2014 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    That only shows that they need to tighten the security…

  • ID
    24 March 2014 at 6:19 pm - Reply

    All well, that’s the way they going find out how they WTC security is ? Maybe they should pay the boy money to show everyone that you can break through WTC security ? Why would you lock-up the boy for one year, that’s to abuse of a sentence ? He should only pay a find of $50 that’s all not jail time ?