Teen Slips By Sleeping Guard, Climbs WTC Spire

Justin Casquejo says trip to top was 'inspired'

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 20, 2014 8:43 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's the kind of luck people only have in the movies. Just how did 16-year-old Justin Casquejo get past the NYPD, the Port Authority Police Department, and two private security companies to reach the top of 1 World Trade Center, the tallest building in the US, on Sunday? It was easy. A "WTC buff," according to the New York Post, Justin allegedly sneaked out of his New Jersey home around 4am and made his way to Ground Zero, where a crack in a barbed-wire fence proved large enough for the skinny teen to fit through. "I walked around the construction site and figured out how to access the Freedom Tower rooftop," Justin said, according to court papers. The rest was, apparently, a piece of cake.

He got a lift to the 88th floor, courtesy of an apparently unassuming union elevator operator—even though he didn't have ID—then climbed the rest of the way to the top, where he spent two hours taking pictures, and even climbed the building's spire, police say. As for the guard he slipped by on the 104th floor? He was snoozing and has since been fired, the Post reports. It was only on his way down that Justin was caught by a construction worker, police say. "He's a skinny kid who got through a skinny hole," a source added. He'll be charged with trespassing, a misdemeanor, the Star-Ledger notes, though he laughed off the adventure to the Post, calling the trip "inspired." Click for another impressive climb, this one caught on video.

In this Nov. 8, 2013 file photo, the beacon and spire of 1 World Trade Center are lit up, as seen from The Heights neighborhood of Jersey City, N.J.
In this Nov. 8, 2013 file photo, the beacon and spire of 1 World Trade Center are lit up, as seen from The Heights neighborhood of Jersey City, N.J.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
Construction continues at 3 World Trade Center, lower left, and One World Trade Center, center, Dec. 24, 2013 in New York. 7 World Trade Center, right, opened in 2007.
Construction continues at 3 World Trade Center, lower left, and One World Trade Center, center, Dec. 24, 2013 in New York. 7 World Trade Center, right, opened in 2007.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
In this Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 photo, pedestrians pass a closed walkway next to the World Trade Center, left, in New York.
In this Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 photo, pedestrians pass a closed walkway next to the World Trade Center, left, in New York.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
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