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Head Of Security For 1 World Trade Center Resigns

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The head of security for the company that manages the 1 World Trade Center building has resigned from his post, a spokesman said.

As CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, David Velazquez had been security director for The Durst Organization, which took over security of the tower in January. Velazquez is a former director of the FBI field office in Newark, N.J.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey controls the site.

Velazquez’s resignation Friday came in the wake of a string of major trespassing cases at the skyscraper — although Velazquez had not yet assumed his post when the first incident happened.

On Monday, four men surrendered to police on charges connected with a BASE jump off the building on Sept. 30 of last year, before Velazquez began.

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.

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.

The BASE jumpers were not charged until they surrendered six months later. They said their stunt was too simple.

“We found a hole in the fence between the wall and the fence and we just pushed it open, walked right in, saw a worker walk by, got right into the building,” Markvoich said earlier this week. “We got to the top. We didn’t see one person the entire way up from the ground all of the way to the roof.”

While the security guards responsible for allowing the recent stunt to happen, and their boss has resigned, the BASE jumpers said there is much more than accountability that needs to be under the microscope.

“They could look at this from a positive side and say, ‘Hey, they were New Yorkers, they got in, they showed us the hole in security and we need to upgrade things,” Rossig said Tuesday.

On Tuesday, two CNN employees were arrested for allegedly trying to sneak into the site.

Shortly after 2 p.m., CNN producers Yon Pomrenze, 35, and Connor Fieldman Boals, 26, attempted to pass through a manned gate into the World Trade Center site at Vesey and Washington streets when a security officer stopped them, and allegedly also tried to climb a fence and push through a manned gate, according to the Port Authority.

And last week, Justin 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.

Velazquez couldn’t be reached for comment late Friday.

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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