Airport Officials Question JFK Security Breach
Federal investigators are trying to determine how a stranded Long Island jet-skier, seeking help managed to breach the Port Authority’s $100 million, state-of-the-art security system at JFK Airport on August 10.
A soaking-wet Daniel Casillo, 31, ran to a Delta worker on the JFK tarmac on Friday night and told the worker he “had to swim to JFK and climb a fence” seeking help after his jet ski became disabled in the waters of Jamaica Bay.
The stunned worker walked Casillo to an airport office where Port Authority police charged him with criminal trespass.
Casillo began his adventure on Friday night with a “gal pal”, and other friends, at the Bayhouse Waterfront Bar and Grille in Rosedale, police sources said.
The group later decided to race their jet skis, to “see whose was the fastest”. Casillo’s 1987 Sea-Doo became disabled at about 7:45 p.m., dumping him in the waters of Jamaica Bay. “His pals didn’t even notice he wasn’t with them,” the sources said.
Cops said Casillo had done some modifications on the jet ski on Friday afternoon that had damaged the fuel gauge–making Casillo think his fuel tank was full, when it was actually empty.
Casillo told investigators the only land he could see was JFK Airport, the sources said. “So he started swimming until he ended up on the shoreline at Runway 4-Left.”
Soaking wet in a neon-yellow life jacket, Casillo managed to climb an eight-foot-high airport perimeter fence, walked along Runway 4-Left and intersecting Runway 31–and made it all the way to Terminal 3, without being noticed.
Casillo then approached the shocked cargo driver, who escorted him to an airport security office, the sources said.
A Port Authority spokesperson said the agency is trying to determine how the $100 million PIDS system failed to notice Casillo. The Port Authority, which operates JFK Airport, has increased perimeter patrols and is reviewing the incident, the spokesperson said.
Casillo was charged with criminal trespass at his arraignment on August 11 at Queens Criminal Court, where he was released without bail. He could face up to a year in jail, if convicted.