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Where Eagles Dare

April 3, 2014

Breaking into One World Trade Center is a bad idea. Sneaking all the way up to the roof is an even worse idea.

One World Trade CenterNevertheless, several daredevils recently engaged in both of these activities (and managed to evade the skyscraper’s round-the-clock security team in the process).

Back in September, four New York City residents, led by construction worker James Brady, slipped through a hole in a fence surrounding the new WTC at 3 a.m. and made it inside, past the round-the-clock security team. Then they climbed to the top of the 104-story building, which isn’t scheduled to be opened to the public until later this year, and while one of them kept watch, the others parachuted off the edge.

They would’ve gotten away with it, too, had a surveillance camera not caught video of the whole thing. The NYPD arrested all four on March 24th. They’ve been charged with felony burglary, along with a few misdemeanors. If they’re fully convicted, each faces up to seven years in prison.

One of the thrill-seekers brought along a camera and filmed his entire 1,300-foot descent and uploaded to YouTube. Note: this video contains language some may find objectionable.

More recently, a New Jersey teenager named Justin Casquejo also reached the top. He snuck through a hole in the fence too and, as he later told authorities, “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 the 104th floor.” A snoozing security guard didn’t notice Casquejo as he headed for the roof. The teen was later arrested. Casquejo is quite brave (or crazy, depending on your point of view). His Twitter account is filled with photos of him hanging off the edge of cranes and standing on various Manhattan rooftops.

Let’s just hope that all the attention that these daredevils are receiving won’t encourage others to follow their lead. Well, too late. Two CNN reporters tried their luck on March 25th and were arrested at one of the skyscraper’s gates.

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