Teen due for sentencing in trade center climb
NEW YORK (AP) — A teenager who sneaked to the top of the 1 World Trade Center tower is set to be sentenced to community service for a climb that fueled questions about security at the tallest building in the U.S..
Justin Casquejo was due Wednesday in a Manhattan court. He pleaded guilty in July to breaking a city misdemeanor law against scaling tall buildings without permission and was promised a sentence of 23 days of community service.
His March escapade came about a week before three men were arrested on charges of skydiving off the as-yet-unfinished skyscraper, the centerpiece of one of the country’s most security-conscious sites. Together, the episodes stirred officials’ concern and prompted security changes at the trade center.
Casquejo, a 16-year-old extreme-climbing aficionado from Weehawken, New Jersey, slipped through a small gap in a construction fence early on March 16, then used a ladder, scaffolding, elevators and stairs to climb the skyscraper, court papers said. Along the way, he got past an inattentive security guard, authorities said.
He spent about two hours atop the tower before heading down — and encountering a security guard on his way.
In the aftermath, the guard Casquejo eluded was fired, and the building’s head of security resigned. Both worked for a private company protecting the building. The government agency that owns the trade center, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, also made changes, hiring a company that guards its airports to handle security at trade center entrances.