NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Charges have been dropped for two CNN producers accused of trying to sneak into the site around the 1 World Trade Center building.
A judge agreed this past Thursday to dismiss Connor Fieldman Boals’ misdemeanor case if Boals does two days of community service. Yon Pomrenze’s case was dismissed outright after prosecutors said he only shot video during the March 25 incident.
Shortly after 2 p.m. March 25, Pomrenze, 35, and 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 at the time.
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.”
A defense attorney said Boals would rather report the news than be in it.
The CNN producers’ arrests followed two major headlines about trespassing cases at the skyscraper.
A day earlier on March 24, 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.
And the week before, 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.
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