A 16 year old who climbed to the top of the 541m 1 World Trade Centre tower construction site in New York City has been sentenced to 26 days community service after pleading guilty to the misdemeanor charge of scaling a building without permission. Justin Casquejo, a young urban explorer from Weehawken NJ entered the site through a gap in fencing at 4AM on a Sunday in July, scaling scaffolding, climbing stairs past a sleeping security guard and finally catching a manned elevator from the the 88th to the 104th floors of the building, spending 2 hours on the roof of the tower and being apprehended on his way back down.
Casquejo had already served his required hours at the time of his sentencing on Wednesday as well as 6 extra days and two youth counseling sessions. Rather than speak in court, the high school student submitted a 1200-word essay detailing what he had learned from the experience, to which Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Felicia Menin responded “The court is impressed by your sincerity, remorsefulness and willingness to accept responsibility for your conduct.”
Raising significant questions regarding the security of the what is probably the most symbolically loaded construction site on the planet, Casquejo’s stunt has seen the City of New York enlist the company responsible for US airport security to guard the tower as well as private guards and over 200 NYPD officers around the building’s perimetre, to keep any other high school students from climbing the tallest building in the US when they should probably be doing homework or something.
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