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Reaching heights of One World Trade Center

by HALEY MILLAN Editor-in-chief

Some people like to live life cautiously, while others enjoy living on the edge. Justin Casquejo, 16, of Weehawken, New Jersey is definitely living on edge, which he proved when he climbed his way to the top of One World Trade Center.

The teen was first charged with criminal trespass, and later a BASE jumping charge was added – both are misdemeanors. He was released from custody without bail.

The prosecution has asked for a “youth assessment,” which will evaluate Casquejo’s home life. If found guilty, Casquejo could face up to three months in jail.

Casquejo was able to enter the building by slipping through a one-square foot hole in the fence surrounding the One World Trade Center. He then used a ladder to get to the scaffolding, bringing him to the sixth floor. He then got on the elevator and got off at the 88th floor. After getting off the elevator, he climbed the stairs to the roof, and used a ladder to get to the antenna.

He entered through the hole in the fence at around four o’clock in the morning, and about two hours later, a security guard caught him on his way down.

Casquejo told police, “I was walking around all night trying to figure out how I would enter it.”

Police have collected Casquejo’s phone in order to find a motive. On his Twitter page, Casquejo has pictures of himself at high altitudes.

“It’s crazy to think about how easily he was able to come up with a way to get to the top. Thankfully, he wasn’t hurt. That’s a ridiculous height to be sitting at,” says senior Brandon Hyman.

One World Trade Center stands in the shadows of the original World Trade Center, and is the nation’s tallest building at 1,776 feet tall with 104 stories.

This is not the only incident where people have reached the top of the site. Four men also recently turned themselves in after organizing a parachute jump off of the One World Trade Center.

The building’s security cameras picked up two figures landing with parachutes at three o’clock in the morning on September 30, 2013.

They also entered the site through a hole in the fence, though it has not been confirmed if it is the same hole Casquejo entered through.

The men were charged with burglary, reckless endangerment, and breaking a local law that prevents people from jumping off of buildings. They plan to plead not guilty, and one of their lawyers has used the excuse, “They’re professional thrill-seekers.”

Senior Alexandra Palmer says, “I can’t believe how terrible the security is at that site. It is clearly a targeted site by terrorists, and we have average people sneaking onto it and climbing to the top. How is that supposed to make us feel safe?”

One World Trade Center has a multimillion dollar security system. However, something is obviously wrong here if there is more than one incident where people have gained access to the site.

Do you think there needs to be more security at the World Trade Center site?

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