Teen who climbed World Trade Center tower to be evaluated, judge says

Pedestrians walk past One World Trade Center in Pedestrians walk past One World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. (April 29, 2012) Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

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World Trade Center climber Justin Casquejo, who scaled to the antenna of the nation's tallest building last month, will be evaluated through a program for youthful offenders, a judge told the teen during a brief court appearance Wednesday.

Casquejo, 16, of Weehawken, N.J., will return to court April 30, when the assessment by social workers and mental health therapists is expected to be completed.

Casquejo was charged last month with criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor, after he was found inside the high-security building.

According to the criminal complaint, Casquejo scaled scaffolding to get to the skyscraper's antenna, which reaches 1,776 feet above street level.

Casquejo told Port Authority police that he "walked around the construction site and figured out how to access the Freedom Tower's rooftop. I found a way up through the scaffolding, climbed onto the sixth floor and took the elevator to the 88th floor," according to the complaint.

Casquejo then told police that he walked up to the 104th floor, where he "climbed the ladder all the way to the antenna." Casquejo said security spotted him after he came downstairs, according to the complaint.

Casquejo's lawyer and his mother did not comment when leaving Midtown Community Court Wednesday.

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Midtown Community Court, which is used for low-level offenders, hears prostitution, graffiti, shoplifting and fare-beating cases. It usually recommends community service or treatment for criminal behavior, according to its website.

Lapses in security at 1 World Trade Center prompted Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) this week to ask the federal Department of Homeland Security to audit security at the 16-acre site.

Several months earlier, three extreme sky divers parachuted from the tower and a security guard was caught on camera sleeping on the job inside the tower. As a result, a top security official of the Durst Organization, which is responsible for security inside 1 World Trade Center, resigned.

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