A 16-year-old boy from New Jersey was arrested this morning after making his way to the top of the country’s tallest skyscraper at 1 World Trade Center.
He reportedly squeezed though a one-foot opening in a fence surrounding the building, climbed scaffolding up to the sixth floor, took an elevator to the 88th floor, followed a staircase up to the 104th floor, then climbed a ladder to the tower’s spire.
The Port Authority‘s Chief Security Officer Joe Dunne pledged to prosecute the teen, Justin Casquejo, who was arrested at 6 a.m. this morning and later arraigned on one count of third degree criminal trespass, a misdemeanor, and one additional count of trespass, which combined could land him up to three-and-a-half months in jail.
“We take security and these types of infractions very seriously and will prosecute violators,” Mr. Dunne said in a statement seen by CNN. “We continue to reassess our security posture at the site and are constantly working to make this site as secure as possible.”
Others, shocked that the teen would be able to bypass security at the tower (including a security guard who was apparently asleep on the 104th floor), were adamant that the charges should be dropped.
“There was no harm or malicious intentions for his actions and if anything he showed [1 World Trade Center] they need better security. He should be given a medal,” said Ryan Wheatland, commenting on CNN’s website.
“Instead of arresting this kid they should give him a reward equal to the guard’s salary for the evening and thank him for showing them how pathetic their security is,” echoed Jessie Numan, a New York Daily News reader.
The building became the tallest in the Western Hemisphere in November, beating out Chicago’s Willis Tower.