New Jersey Teen Daredevil Arrested Again Atop Midtown High-Rise

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A thrill-seeking New Jersey teenager who has been arrested before for scaling New York City skyscrapers is apparently back at it again.

Justin Casquejo, 19, of Weehawken, was arrested around 9 p.m. Thursday. Police said he and a friend illegally entered the Paramount Tower apartment building, located at 240 E. 39th St.

The two made their way up to the roof where Casquejo was hanging over the edge and doing acrobatics, police said.

“I walked in the building last night and saw probably 10 policemen, couple firemen and the individual with his backpack handcuffed, and I heard he was arrested up on the rooftop, which I have no idea — on the 50th floor — have no idea how he could get up there,” resident Ann-Marie Mee said.

Onsite managers at the Paramount Tower would not comment on the case but told CBS2 there are doormen at the main entrance around the clock and someone at the back door until it closes at midnight.

Casquejo and a 27-year-old were arrested for criminal trespass, CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported.

“It’s scary. How did he even get in?” another resident, Lisa Nusbaum, asked.

“No on knows, no one can figure out, because we have very tight security in the front and the back,” Mee said.

Nusbaum rode the elevator to the 52nd floor, took a staircase and then spotted a sign, reading “no roof access.” She said she did notice a private roof terrace accessible to just one 52nd floor apartment.

“That’s extremely scary for both the person doing them and the residents, like how did you even find out about this?” she wondered.

Last DecemberCasquejo was charged with one count of base jumping and one count of third degree criminal trespassing after he posted videos of himself and a friend scaling skyscrapers in Midtown, Columbus Circle and Times Square.

Casquejo made headlines in 2014 when he was arrested for climbing One World Trade Center while it was under construction. He was 16 at the time. In that case, Casquejo pleaded guilty to breaking a city law against scaling tall buildings without permission, and he was sentenced to 23 days of community service.

About a week after his climb, three extreme-skydiving fans were arrested for a September leap off the World Trade Center tower.

The cases prompted concern from the mayor and other officials and spurred security changes at the trade center site.

“There probably should be something done to address this,” Nusbaum said. “I don’t know why he’s — is he getting off on charges?”

Casquejo’s attorney couldn’t promise that he was done climbing.

“The response again; my client has no intention of hurting anyone,” Jeremy Saland said.

In a Kickstarter campaign launched late last year, Casquejo said it’s art.

“To create beautiful content, to create moving art around the world with the people that I love,” he said.

More From CBS New York

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Get Our Morning Briefs
Bloomberg WCBS Tri-State Business Index

Watch & Listen LIVE