In an era when airline passengers can't get past a checkpoint with a bottle of shampoo, security experts were shocked Monday by the case of a man who swam ashore, scaled a fence and walked dripping wet into Kennedy Airport despite a $100 million system of surveillance cameras and motion detectors.
Authorities said the trouble began Friday evening when 31-year-old Daniel Casillo's jet ski ran out of fuel in Jamaica Bay. Casillo swam toward the bright lights of Kennedy's runway 4L, which juts out into the bay, then climbed an 8-foot fence that is part of the airport's state-of-the-art Perimeter Intrusion Detection System, authorities said.
Soaking wet, wearing a bright yellow life jacket, Casillo made his way across two intersecting runways — an estimated distance of nearly two miles — before he was spotted on a terminal ramp by an airline employee, authorities said.
According to the police report, Casillo told an officer: "I needed help!"