16-Year-Old Arrested After Sneaking Onto the Freedom Tower Roof to Take Pictures

A 16-year-old New Jersey kid is making headlines today after embarrassing the Port Authority, NYPD and private security this weekend for the sake of some rooftopping pictures that ultimately led to his arrest.

Justin Casquejo, 16, managed to do something last weekend that shouldn’t be possible: He snuck past security and climbed all the way onto the roof of the 1 World Trade Center, aka. The Freedom Tower. In fact, he was only caught on his way out of the lobby… and by a construction worker.

According to the police report, Casquejo had a pretty easy time of it:

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.

The only deterrent he encountered there was a sleeping security guard (the guard has since been fired), who he quickly bypassed, and he was off to the roof of the tallest building in the United States.

Casquejo is described by friends as an ‘adrenaline junkie,’ and his Twitter and Facebook photos confirm this. You’ll find photos showing him hanging from cranes and tweets about his passion for parkour.

When he was arrested around 6am Sunday morning, police confiscated a camera and a cell phone, and the NY Daily News is reporting that he spent two hours at the base of the antenna taking pictures.

The stunt is being hailed as both impressive and scary… with most leaning towards the latter. This building is, by many accounts, one of the top targets for a terrorist attack. And the fact that a kid was able to stake out the place and get all the way to the roof without being stopped is, as it was put in a press conference, ‘shocking’ and ‘troubling.’

Casquejo has been charged with criminal trespass in the third degree and one count of trespass. He faces up to 90 days in jail for the first charge, and 15 more for the second. Sometimes… that rooftopping photo just isn’t worth it.

(via NBC New York via The Phoblographer)

  • K S B

    “Kid Loses His Freedom at Freedom Tower”. Such irony.

  • sean

    He should be locked up since he didn’t gopro it!

  • Burnin Biomass

    Put him in jail for a few days, fire whoever let the punk up there (using a cleaver hardhat disguise), and lets move on.

  • David Vaughn

    I always think it’s funny how the opinions would probably be different depending on one detail. Since he lived, he’s badass and “more power to him,” but it he had died people would probably be calling him a dumbass.

    Oh Internet. :P

  • Sam Rohn

    New Yorkers do not refer to 1 WTC as the “freedom tower”, that was a silly bush era nickname that has gone the way of freedom fries…

  • jeff fisher

    in the U.S. jail is for stints under one year. Prison is longer than a year and generally reserved for felonies.

  • jeff fisher

    you say that like you know

  • jeff fisher

    It sounds like you’re a racist asshole to begin with. The kid wanted a high vantage point in NYC from which to take photos! Put Neil Bush in prison for life; he was head of security at the World Trade Center on 9-11-2001. He wasn’t let go because he didn’t do his job. Just “too bad he wasn’t colored,” right?

  • mahmood

    The ridiculous justice system that can condemn adventure-seeking and healthy rebellion of a teenager with disproportionate sentences in order to obtain sheepish conformity of the whole repressed population but lets loose or even defends the select financial elite who cause widespread pain and suffering through their reckless and irresponsible behaviour in positions where all they are asked for is ethical integrity. How appropriatis that?

  • David John Bono

    If they throw a 16 year old in jail for trespassing, i’m leaving this sad excuse for a free nation.

  • pele

    Would love to see the photos he took up there.

  • Peter “Pots”

    Hey, the kid is just being a kid. Thank God his antics have taught some folks a lesson. He shouldn’t get jail time for that. Why do most of you folks get so negative…have a bad day? Lighten up, please.

  • Sean Walsh

    I don’t think any head of security of the towers on 9/11/01 could have made a difference against two airplanes. Blame airport security in Boston, Newark, and D.C. for that one. Oh, and the FBI for not heeding the warning from a Florida flight school about some guys who aren’t interested in learning how to land a plane… red flags, people.

  • Sean Walsh

    Your comment has a win that knows no bounds.

  • Sean Walsh

    And some 30 year-olds struggle to have the maturity of 30 year-olds.

  • Sean Walsh

    Camera was confiscated, and the memory card will probably never be returned, unfortunately. I hope it doesn’t discourage him from trying again…

  • Sean Walsh

    One thing that strikes me as odd about this…. shouldn’t his identity be protected under the young-offenders act?

  • Brian Zuzulock

    What is the importance of life if your not living? If you live your life avoiding anything where there is a risk of getting hurt or other negative repercussions, then what is the point? If this were my kid, I’d be proud of him and I’d support his sense of adventure.

  • Dys

    It’s good that he exposed the vulnerability of the building’s security.

  • kulardenu

    Too much crazy for a kid this young…

  • brokowski

    “that rooftopping photo just isn’t worth it.”

    Well that’s like, your opinion, man

  • brokowski

    “quickly put any concern to rest”

    Um, is there something people need to be concerned about? Are someone’s liberties being taken away? Is there going to be a famine? Plague? Death? What concerns are we talking about here

  • Christopher

    It sounds like eerrewr’s statement is facetious and points to the fact that the judicial system in general and the “war on drugs” in particular jails a disproportional amount of young, black men.

  • Christopher

    While the food in Chicago is every bit as good as the food in NYC, there is no rivalry when it comes to pizza – that’s not pizza what they are serving in Chicago:

  • lol

    oh the irony.

  • Theo Lubbe

    I’d be amazed if he could commandeer plains into crashing into buildings, tbh.

  • RonT

    No, they seem to be different. I’ve never been able to figure out the US justice system. Sheriffs vs police for one thing, what exactly are their respective roles? They seem to co-exist in regions

  • Andres Trujillo

    they should be thanking him

  • dedStik

    Come on now, there’s no need for that. Besides you know if he were black they’d have shot him.