Daniel Casillo had to swim five kilometres to shore after his jet ski stalled
A marooned jet skier managed to climb a fence, evade the $100 million security system at JFK airport in New York and walk across two runways undetected before being spotted.
Daniel Casillo, 31, was drinking with friends at a bar near the airport Friday night when they decided to take their jet skis out for a spin. According to the New York Post, Casillo got separated from his friends and as darkness fell his watercraft conked out.
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So Casillo swam about five kilometres to shore, which just happened to be the grounds of John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. When he got to shore, he climbed a 2.5-metre barbed wire perimeter fence and walked across the runways all the way to Terminal 3 before anyone even noticed him.
This means a man in a bright yellow life jacket walked undetected past an intricate system of motion sensors and security cameras, which are part of the expensive Perimeter Intrusion Detection System (PIDS). It's a system designed to prevent terrorists from doing exactly what Casillo did.
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"I think he should be given a dinner and a bottle of champagne for showing us our faults," said Nicholas Casale, an NYPD veteran and former MTA deputy security director for counterterrorism to ABC.
Casillo was first noticed when he approached a startled Delta Airlines worker at a gate. But he was definitely not given champagne. Instead, Casillo was apprehended and charged with criminal trespassing.
The head of the Port Authority police union is outraged by the events. The Post reports Paul Nunziato will send a letter to the Port Authority, which runs the airport, "demanding a PA inspector's general investigation into the failed Perimeter Intrusion Detection System, the cost over-runs and the relationship between the Port Authority and Raytheon, the vendor."
The security system was first introduced in 2009, but apparently never fully came online after a series of delays. The Port Authority says it has stepped up patrols and is reviewing the PIDS with Raytheon, the company that made the system.
This isn't the first time an airport security system has failed. In March, a black jeep sped down a runway at the airport in Philadelphia. The same JFK perimeter fence has also had issues as it was knocked out by weather and remained down for days last year.