NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Two CNN producers were arrested Tuesday afternoon for allegedly trying to sneak into the site around the 1 World Trade Center building, police said.
At 2:08 p.m., PAPD arrested two CNN employees for attempting to breach security at the World Trade Center site.
Shortly after 2 p.m., CNN producers Yon Pomrenze, 35, and Connor Fieldman Boals, 26, attempted to pass through a man gate into the World Trade Center site at Vesey and Washington streets when a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police officer stopped them, police said.
Pomrenze and Boals allegedly told the officer “words to the effect that if a 16-year-old could get on the site, they should also be able to get in” – referring to Justin Casquejo, who was arrested for allegedly sneaking into the building.
The men then allegedly walked east to the Vesey Street entrance to the World Trade Center PATH station, and officers allegedly saw Boles twice try to climb the fence. He was stopped, Port Authority police said.
The men then allegedly tried to push their way forcibly through a controlled gate at Vesey and Church streets, at which point they were arrested.
They were charged with criminal trespass, obstruction of governmental administration, and disorderly conduct, police said. Police also confiscated a GoPro camera and a video camera on a tripod the producers were carrying.
A CNN representative said the producers’ alleged actions were not part of their assignment.
“They were not asked to sneak onto the WTC site,” the representative told 1010 WINS. “They were in the surrounding area to do a story about the recent incidents at the WTC and other sites – and the notion that daredevils are being drawn to them.”
The arrests follow two major headlines about trespassing cases at the skyscraper.
On Monday, four men surrendered to police on charges connected with a BASE jump off the building on Sept. 30 of last year.
Andrew Rossig, 33, James Brady, 32, Kyle Hartwell, 29, and Marco Markovich, 27, were arraigned on charges of burglary, reckless endangerment and misdemeanor jumping from a structure, police said.
Police said the four squeezed through a hole in a fence and climbed 104 flights of stairs before leaping from the tower. Surveillance video captured the men landing in front of the Goldman Sachs building.
“It was pretty simple actually,” Markovich told “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday. “Walked right in, saw a worker walk by, got right into the building. We got to the top, didn’t see one person the entire way up from the ground all the way up to the roof.”
The Port Authority on Tuesday condemned the jump as a “lawless and selfish act that clearly endangered the public” and said “the spirit of respect and reverence for this sacred site” was violated.
But the daredevils and defense lawyers paint it another way, saying it exposed a bigger issue of a lack of security at World Trade Center site.
And last week, Casquejo, 16, of Weehawken, N.J., was hit with a misdemeanor trespassing charge after police said he crawled through a hole in the fence, climbed to the top of the building and took pictures for an hour.
The NYPD devotes more than 200 officers, surveillance cameras and other technology to protect the perimeter of the site, while Port Authority police and private security agents guard the inside.
Ultimately, plans call for a $40 million system of barriers and checkpoints around the 16-acre trade center site.
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