Fil-Am teen sorry for security breach at WTC

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

March 24, 2014

NEW YORK – Even with a reported tens of millions of dollars-worth of state-of-the-art security system, a Filipino-American teen managed to breach One World Trade Center’s Security and climb his way to the top of its spire.

How did Justin Alexander Casquejo, 16, do it? Well, for one, the security guard on duty was said to be sleeping.

Investigators say that at 4 a.m. on March 16, Casquejo found a way up through a one square foot hole in the fence surrounding One World Trade Center.

He climbed scaffolding 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 spire – One World Trade Center’s antenna.

Reports also say the Weehawken, NJ Fil-Am teen snuck past a sleeping security guard who has since been fired.

After two hours of capturing the view from the spire through photos, NY Port Authority Police arrested Casquejo on his way out at 6 a.m.

Casquejo’s camera and cell phone were confiscated.

He was charged with third degree criminal trespassing and another trespassing violation, and could face up to a year in jail if found guilty.

Casquejo took to Twitter to “apologize to those who may have been insulted or felt disrespected by his actions”. He also said that “it was not his intention to do so.”

The Casquejo family declined Balitang America’s request for an interview while the case is being investigated.

As a parkourist, Casquejo’s considers himself a daredevil.

On Twitter, he has posted photos of himself on top of a Hoboken, NJ crane and hanging from a crane without any safety precautions.

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

Young Filipino-Americans gathered here at New York’s Central Park have mixed reactions. Some are in awe of Casquejo, while others think what he did was careless.

Bronx, NY resident Jerome Viloria said, “At a very young age, it’s only natural that some of us are very adventurous. But at the same time, the World Trade Center is a government facility. So it’s a very iffy issue.”

“It’s physically, you know, an incredible feat, but then it kind of shows like what is really being invested in the World Trade Center,” Felipe Asuncion of Queens, NY said. “I’m like, one kid could get past security, a guy who is sleeping, really? That’s all your security, not some camera?”

“To be honest with you I’m not really worried about it because it was only a construction site,” George Ocampo of New Rochelle, NY said. “It wasn’t like a finished building or anything but at the same time, it is kind of scary to think that someone can just do that by himself. At the very most I think he should get a slap on the wrist and I guess to talk to whoever was in charge of organizing the security so they can understand how to better the system. I don’t think he should get anything more than that.”

Port Authority Police told Balitang America that Casquejo’s case is now in the hands of the New York District Attorney and he is scheduled to face the court in April.

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

3 Comments on this post.

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  • CA
    24 March 2014 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    He is 16yr old and it doesn’t seem this is the first thing he did. Where are his parents all this time?

  • Rick
    24 March 2014 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    For what he did is very downgrading and very embarassing! Akala ko’y ang mga pinoy ay may respeto. Ngayon, ang tingin ng mga tao sa buong mundo ay tayo’y masamang tao at hindi na pagkatitiwalaan. Baka tayo mga pinoy ay bibinintangan na tayo ay terrerorista! Shame on you kababayan!

  • ric
    24 March 2014 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    Fuck this dumb motherfucker ..idiot it’s not cool what u did
    Dapat sau I deport sa pilipinas nakakahiya ka gago ka dami pinoy galit
    Sau bweset makulong ka. Sana

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