CNN Duo Reportedly Busted for Failed World Trade Center Sneak-In
Yon Pomrenze, 35, and Connor Fieldman Boals, 26, were allegedly working on a story about security lapses at the building. Things have been a little rough and ready, with multiple recent reports of people sneaking onto the still unfinished premises and making their way to the top.
Sneaking should have been the operative word. Pomrenze and Boals allegedly tried to talk their way through the main gain of the construction site while carrying video cameras. Just after lunch-time. No luck. Then they unsuccessfully tried twice to climb the fence, but were stopped. Finally, they tried to get through an electronic gate.
All that commotion was enough to get Port Authority police officers to arrest them. Maybe they thought everyone would be off on a post-prandial siesta.
There were two recent stories that probably helped set CNN on a hunt for slack site security. One happened a week ago Sunday, when Justin Casquejo was charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass, according to CBSNews.com. The 16-year-old had allegedly snuck past a guard in the middle of the night, climbed scaffolding to the sixth floor, took an elevator to the 88th, and then went up stairs to the 104th floor and onto the roof. Casquejo reportedly got some towering pictures in before he was caught.
And then there was the case of three guys just arrested for supposedly parachuting off the structure in September 2013, as CBSNews reported. Of course, the video they took of the exploit might become some persuasive evidence in court. They found a hole in the fence, avoided one guard and managed to stay at the top of the World Trade Center for at least four hours. You might understand how it could take time to convince yourself to jump off the nation's tallest building.
It's not hard to see how two high-profile arrests over getting into the structure might inspire intrepid journalists to see whether the authorities had tightened security. Plus, as they told a Port Authority officer, according to a New York Daily News story, "If a 16-year-old can get on the site we should be able to get in as well."
"He had enough sense to try it at 4 o'clock in the morning," said Port Authority Police Department spokesperson Joseph Pentangelo to Reuters. True enough.
Reuters quoted a CNN spokesperson as having said that the two men 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," but that they "were not asked to sneak onto the WTC site."
The pair was arrested on charges of criminal trespass, obstruction of governmental administration and disorderly conduct. Failing to exhibit even the common sense of a teenager is not a crime.