Teen Climbs to Top of WTC after Breaking Through Security, PAPD Says

By Aidan Gardiner DNAinfo

MANHATTAN — A teenage boy managed to break through the fortress-like security at the World Trade Center, sneak past an “inattentive” guard, hop an elevator and climb to the antenna of America’s tallest building, officials said.

Justin Casquejo, 16, climbed through a foot-wide hole in the site’s exterior wall before scaling scaffolding that ringed 1 World Trade Center and taking an elevator, stairs and an exterior ladder on his way to the top before he was finally arrested about 6 a.m. Sunday, a PAPD spokesman said.

Casquejo may have even duped an elevator operator by donning a hard hat to resemble the other workers at the site, according to the New York Post, which first reported the boy’s ascent.

In a stunt that raised serious questions about security at one of the world’s biggest terrorist targets, the teen was able to meander around the property for at least an hour before he was caught, according to prosecutors and the Port Authority.

The teen told investigators that he cased the construction site ahead of time and figured out the route for his daring climb.

“I found a way up through the scaffolding, climbed onto the 6th floor, and took the elevator up to the 88th floor. Then I took the staircase up to [the] 104th fl. I went to the rooftop and climbed the ladder all the way to the antenna,” Casquejo said, according to his criminal complaint.

The teen had a camera and cellphone when he was arrested. Police have since obtained a warrant to search the electronics, the Port Authority said.

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