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Agency probes JFK security breach by man from bay

Published August 13, 2012 1:39 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

New York • A man on a personal watercraft who became stranded in a bay easily breached Kennedy International Airport's security system by walking undetected through two runways and into a terminal.

The New York Post reported Sunday that Daniel Casillo, 31, swam to a Jamaica Bay shore and then walked past motion sensors and closed-circuit cameras of the airport's state-of-the-art Perimeter Intrusion Detection System. The $100 million system, manufactured by defense contractor Raytheon Co., is meant to safeguard against terrorists.

Casillo, of New York, climbed an 8-foot-tall perimeter fence and made his way to Terminal 3, where he was approached by a Delta Airlines worker, the Post reported. The Delta employee then alerted authorities.

Casillo was charged with criminal trespass. A man who answered the phone at the home of his girlfriend, Deanna Cowan, said the couple's lawyer had advised them to stop speaking to the media.

The Port Authority said in a statement Monday that it took immediate action to increase police patrols of the airport's perimeter after the incident.

"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," the agency said in an emailed statement. "Our goal is to keep the region's airports safe and secure at all times."