A man whose jet ski failed him in New York’s Jamaica Bay swam to John F. Kennedy airport, where he was easily able to penetrate the airport $100 million, state-of-the art security system.
Daniel Casillo, 31, was able to swim up to and enter the airport grounds on Friday night, past an intricate system of motion sensors and closed-circuit cameras designed to to safeguard against terrorists, authorities said.
“I think he should be given 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.
Instead, Casillo was arrested after the incredible adventure that has stunned security officials.
Casillo’s night began innocently enough, as he and some friends were racing on jet skis in Jamaica Bay near JFK airport when his watercraft stalled. After calling for and receiving no help, he managed to swim towards the only thing he could see, the runway lights at JFK.
Once he made it to land, Casillo climbed an eight-foot barbed-wire perimeter fence and walked undetected through the airport’s Perimeter Intrusion Detection System and across two runways into Delta’s terminal 3.
Unnoticed until then, Casillo walked into the airport dripping wet and wearing his bright yellow life jacket.
When he was eventually spotted by a Delta employee, police charged Casillo with criminal trespassing.
“It’s outrageous,” Casale said. “Why in 2012 do we not have a security system throughout our airports?”
This is not the first time an airport’s security systems failed.
In March, a black jeep sped down a runway at Philadelphia’s international airport. That incident came on the heels of another in California, when a BMW slammed through the airport fence when the driver reportedly lost control.
Last year at JFK there was a huge uproar over that same perimeter fence, when it was knocked out by weather and remained down for days.
New York Port Authority officials tell ABC News this time around they “took immediate action to increase its police presence with round the clock patrols of the facility’s perimeter and increased patrols by boat of the surrounding waterway.”
“We have called for an expedited review of the incident and a complete investigation to determine how Raytheon’s perimeter intrusion detection system-which exceeds federal requirements-could be improved. Our goal is to keep the region’s airports safe and secure at all times,” the Port Authority said in a statement.