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Around 4 a.m. Sunday morning, Justin Casquejo snuck out of his New Jersey home and snuck into the Freedom Tower. The Freedom Tower is supposed to be one of the most secure sites in North America, as it resides on the former site of the World Trade Center.
The 16-year-old made it past four layers of security and eventually ended up on the 104th floor of America’s tallest building. He reportedly spent more than two hours in the building before the New York Port Authority apprehended him as he made his way back down.
Upon looking at his Twitter, which reads like a diary of his exploits, I gathered the culprit is an avid climber who borders on the extreme to insane divide. One of Casquejo’s wildest photos is below, where he can be seen hanging off the arm of a crane somewhere in Hoboken, N.J., across the river from Manhattan.
What have you done with your life? pic.twitter.com/6uZCW4mk3p
— Justin (@JustinCasquejo) November 6, 2013
Unfortunately, aside from court documents, no photo evidence publicly exists to recount Justin’s remarkable yet highly illegal plight, as the Port Authority confiscated both his camera and his cell phone at the time he was taken into custody.
The question, though, is just how did a 16-year-old kid manage to make his way into what is supposed to be among the most secure buildings in the entire free world?!
Well, from the statements he provided police, apparently it was quite easy.
From the New York Post:
Scrawny 16-year-old Justin Casquejo crawled through a hole in a Ground Zero fence at about 4 a.m. Sunday and got a lift up the tower from a clueless union elevator operator, even though he had no ID.
He was dropped off on the 88th floor and hiked the stairs up to the 104th floor — where a guard assigned to protect the top of the world’s biggest terror target was sound asleep.
That has to make all the corporate honchos who have millions of dollars worth of technological infrastructure and priceless financial information stored in their offices feel really good, right?
He’s just a “scrawny” 16-year-old James Bond-ing his way into one of the hallmarks of American business, being misconstrued by a union elevator operator who thought he should be there (at 4 a.m. on a Sunday?) and sleuthing up to the the top floor past the snoozing midnight guard who probably makes a decent salary–all because he felt like it.
Not surprisingly, the guard was fired as soon as Justin’s escapades came to light following an investigation, but the union elevator operator (that’s a job?) retained his position because of some union bullshit.
Based on what he told police, I’m pretty convinced this kid is one of the biggest adrenaline junkies I’ve ever heard of.
Casquejo told cops he then climbed up to the roof and made it up to the antenna.
After spending two glorious hours atop the nation’s tallest buildings snapping photos, the young daredevil was finally caught by a construction worker as he made his way back down.
Brass balls, that’s for sure. It’s one thing to tour a tall building and go up to an observation deck that is glassed or fenced in, but to climb out onto the antenna atop the tallest building in the United States in the fucking dark? No fucking way. My palms are literally sweating at the thought of it. I guess maybe that means I’m not “extreme,” but if that’s the case, I’m pretty okay with that. I respectfully tip my hat to this kid for the amazing feat he pulled off.
There’s either a great future in the circus industry or some kind of clandestine international espionage missions in the cards for this kid, that’s for sure.
Casquejo is charged with misdemeanor trespassing, which leads me to believe he got off pretty damn easy. I’d imagine breaking into a building of this stature could easily carry federal sentencing if it were for the wrong reasons.
Truth be told, he probably pulled a power move and wow’ed the cops down at the station with pictures of his adventure, and maybe we, as Americans, should thank him. After all, he definitely exposed a few security flaws that obviously need addressing, and all I can think is that it’s better it was him and not someone with ill intentions.
Chances are you’ll get a bid if you want one, Justin. Started from the bottom now you’re here: Internet famous.
[via New York Post]