New Jersey Teen Busted For Dangling From World Trade Center With One Hand, Still Taking Recklessness To New Heights

A reckless teen busted for dangling from the top of the World Trade Center and posting the pictures online is still playing with fire, the New York Post is reporting.

Justin Casquejo, who was 16 at the time, received a lenient sentence in 2014 when he broke through security with a friend to shoot a daredevil video at the under-construction high-rise. The harrowing footage showed the risk-taking teenager dangling by one arm, hundreds of feet above the city and bragging about being “limitless.”

The New Jersey teen snuck out of his home, crawled through a Ground Zero fence around 4 a.m. and took a lift up to the spire. The scrawny 16-year-old did not have ID, but still convinced an elevator operator to take him to the top. He was taken to the 88th floor before taking the stairs up to the 104th floor.

The guard assigned with protecting one of America’s biggest terror targets was fast asleep.

Justin Casquejo was trying out his stunts and taking photos for over two hours on America’s tallest building. He was only arrested after he was seen trying to leave the building as the sun came up. The elevator operator who belonged to a hardhat union kept his job. The dozing sentry was fired immediately.

According to court papers, when asked how he got into the building, Casquejo boasted that it was easy once he figured out how to get to the top.

“I walked around the construction site and figured out how to access the Freedom Tower rooftop.”

The adrenaline junkie had been looking to climb the World Trade Center for a long time, with pictures showing him posing with the immense building in the background. When he got his wish, he summed it up with one tweet, “inspired.”

The arrest of the teenager raised concerns over the security precautions being taken at the 1,776-foot-tall tower. Justin Casquejo had beaten four layers of security which included the NYPD, the Port Authority Police Department, a private security company who patrolled the outside building and another firm that secured the inside. The thrill seeking teen admitted to breaking a city misdemeanor law against scaling skyscrapers without permission in a plea bargain which got him slap on the wrist.

Casquejo got 23 days of service, two sessions of youth counseling and submitted a 1,200 word essay rationalizing the risks behind his dangerous stunts. Judge Felicia Menin of the Manhattan Criminal Court had expressed optimism that the New Jersey teen had learned from his dangerous actions and let him off without jail time.

“The court is impressed by your sincerity, remorsefulness and willingness to accept responsibility for your conduct…it will be up to you to prove the court right.”

According to friends, Casquejo is obsessed with scaling lofty buildings and precarious structures. They said that he is also a parkour enthusiast. Parkor is an extreme sport that combines rock climbing, gymnastics and martial arts. Two weeks after being let off easy by the court, Justin was arrested again for trying to climb a 175-foot brick tower in Weehawken, New Jersey.

The teenage adrenaline junkie, who is now 18, is still pulling off his crazy capers, posting pictures of him and pals scaling skyscrapers near the Empire State Building and in Times Square, Columbus Circle. His stunts are annoying New York City firefighters. In a blog post on, a concerned fireman called for Casquejo to stop taking risks before it went awry or put firefighters in danger trying to rescue him.

“Should the thrill seeker’s selfish acts fail, it will tie up highly trained technical-rescue resources and put members at risk…in this day and age, this is completely unacceptable.”

About a week after Casquejo’s daredevil stunt, three extreme skydiving enthusiasts also jumped from the WTC. James Brady, 32, Marko Markovich, 27, and Andrew Rossig, 33, skydived from the Freedom Tower after sneaking to the top of the 104-story building. A fourth man served as lookout on the ground.

According to police, one of the suspects worked as a construction worker at the site and used his knowledge to get his cronies into restricted areas. Police tracked down the men after they uploaded footage from their GoPro Cameras to YouTube.

[Featured Image by Ihsanyidizli/ iStockPhoto]

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