The boy who climbed the WTC: embarrassing act or blessing in disguise?

Justin Casquejo: vilified, applauded. Photo: CBS 2

Justin Casquejo: vilified, applauded. Photo: CBS 2

A 16-year-old Filipino boy’s sense of adventure shook New York to the core.

Justin Casquejo from Weehawken, New Jersey, managed to sneak into the One World Trade Center building all the way to the top 104th floor undetected by the building’s tight security. He is facing charges of criminal trespass punishable by three months in jail, despite an apology to “anyone who may have been insulted or felt disrespected by my actions.”

Insulted? That would be the Filipino Americans who are burying their heads that another one of their own is stirring up trouble and causing an “embarrassment” to the community. “Dumb” was another word dumped on Casquejo by angry Pinoys.

1WTC is the first of the buildings to rise at the site of the Twin Towers complex that collapsed during the terror attacks of 9/11. It is all of 1,776 feet, according to its website, the “tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere” and the fourth tallest in the world.

The building is almost complete, and security is supposed to be over the top, pun totally intended. How then did a curious, possibly looking-for-a thrill type teenager able to give himself a tour of the tower and take pictures – his own bragging rights version of conquering Mount Everest?

“I walked around the construction site and figured out how to access the Freedom Tower rooftop. I found a way up through the scaffolding, climbed onto the sixth floor, and took the elevator up to the 88th floor. I then took the staircase up to 104th (floor). I went to the rooftop and climbed the ladder all the way to the antenna.” This was how Casquejo explained to police his actions, according to a criminal complaint.

Reports say a sleeping security guard has since been fired.

Mayor Bill de Blasio was beyond shocked but trusted the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, which owns the WTC buildings, to review all security measures after this incident.

“He’s done everyone a service,” said TV personality George Stephanopoulos of the boy’s brazen act. “It’s a wake-up call.”

1 World Trade Center, also known as Freedom Tower. Photo: 1WTC website

1 World Trade Center, also known as Freedom Tower. Photo: 1WTC website



One Comment

  1. He should be commended instead of being jailed because he showed the city that the security is so lax that a terrorist can do the same and do extensive damage to Freedom Tower.

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