Jet Skier Penetrates JFK Airport’s $100 Million Security System

Robert Jonathan - Author

Aug. 20 2013, Updated 12:32 a.m. ET

A stranded jet skier in New York City was trying to get help any way he could. He now stands charged with criminal trespass for violating airport security.

The jet skier in trouble, Daniel Casillo, apparently had no problem avoiding John F. Kennedy Airport’s state-of-the art security system and its motion detectors and video surveillance after he abandoned his jet ski which was taking on water and swam three miles to the lighted Runway 4-Left.

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Daniel Casillo, 31, “effortlessly” breached the expensive airport security system at JFK after his personal watercraft broke down about 7:45 p.m. when he was racing with some friends, according to the New York Post, which also reported that Casillio walked “undetected across two runways and a terminal” after his friends didn’t notice he was lagging behind.

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Dripping wet and in a bright-yellow life jacket, Casillo climbed the perimeter fence, which is eight feet high, and walked across that runway and intersecting Runway 31L — and made it all the way to Terminal 3 without anyone noticing.

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Casillo approached a Delta employee on the tarmac near Gate 10 and was later arrested. The airport says it has beefed up security patrols and is conducting an investigation into the incident.

JFK’s Perimeter Intrusion Detection System (PIDS) cost $100 million but it “has proven to be a boondoggle, having never fully come online after a series of troubling delays” according to the Post.

Although this may be a rhetorical question, does this incident increase or decrease your faith in airport security generally? Further, do you think the charge against the jet skier is fair or was he just doing what any reasonable person in distress would do?

[Image credit: Backlit]


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