Lost jet skier wanders through JFK airport security

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, August 13, 2012 12:46 EDT
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A plane takes off from JFK International Airport. Photo: Christopher Parypa / Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.
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A man whose jet ski died in the waters of Jamacia Bay near JFK International Airport was charged with trespassing Saturday night after he swam to shore, hopped a fence and walked straight up to an airport terminal without the facility’s complex security apparatus making even a single attempt to stop him.

The airport’s $100 million perimeter security system, put together by defense contractor Raytheon Corporation, was specifically designed to prevent this very type of intrusion with an array of motion detectors and cameras littering areas near runways. Despite the system, 31-year-old Daniel Castillo had no problem walking right up to a Delta airlines employee while still dripping wet and wearing a life vest, according to The New York Post.

The system, known as the “Perimeter Intrusion Detection System,” was built using Raytheon’s custom “smart fence” technology. Under construction four years, the project was ultimately delivered in 2010 more than year late and massively over-budget, prompting some lawmakers to call for investigations and for Raytheon itself to pay for additional construction and installation costs.

Reports at the time indicated that Raytheon had tremendous difficulties getting the sensors to stop raising alarms at the sight of a squirrel or a stiff breeze moving the chain-link fence around the airport’s perimeter. The Port Authority of New York said it would work with Raytheon to investigate ways of improving the system.

This video is from ABC News, broadcast Monday, August 13, 2012.

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Photo: Christopher Parypa / Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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