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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)