Security is taken very seriously at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, to the tune of $100 million to make sure the state-of-the-art system keeps unwanted intruders out. But all it took was one man on a jet ski in Jamaica Bay seeking dry land to throw a major kink into that elaborate set-up.
ABC News says the man’s craft stopped working while racing with pals, so he simply swam from the bay toward the only thing he could see — JFK’s runway lights. From there, he climbed an eight-foot barbed-wire perimeter fence (as illustrated in ABC’s helpful “virtual view” in case you can’t imagine what climbing a fence looks like) and walked right past motion sensors and a closed-circuit camera, which were in place to catch anyone who shouldn’t be there. Like, ahem, a man wandering in from the ocean.
He then crossed two runways until he made it to the Delta terminal, where he was finally spotted, dripping wet, in his bright yellow lifejacket. Police then charged him with criminal trespassing, somewhat of a harsh fate according to an NYPD veteran and former MTA deputy security director for counterterrorism ABC spoke with.
“I think he should be given dinner and a bottle of champagne for showing us our faults,” he said, adding, “It’s outrageous. Why in 2012 do we not have a security system throughout our airports?”
New York Port Authority officials say 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” since earlier incidents with the perimeter fence failing to do its job.
“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.
*Thanks for the tips, Harper and Joseph!