By Mary Grady, Contributing editor
The security at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport cost $100 million, but a regular guy with a broken-down jet ski inadvertently thwarted the entire system on Saturday night. Daniel Casillo, 31, of Howard Beach, was out at a bar with friends when they decided to go for a ride on their watercraft in Jamaica Bay, the New York Post reported Sunday. After his craft broke down in the dark, and his friends were nowhere to be seen, Casillo swam to shore, heading for the bright lights of Runway 4 Left, which protrudes into the bay. Casillo scaled an eight-foot fence, walked across two runways, and made it to Terminal 3 without anyone trying to stop him.
According to the Post, Casillo should have been spotted by the motion sensors and closed-circuit cameras of the Perimeter Intrusion Detection System, or PIDS. The Port Authority police told the Post they have been concerned about the failure of the PIDS for some time. "We have brought this to the attention of former executive director Chris Ward, who failed to act," Robert Egbert, spokesman for the police, said. The Port Authority, which operates the airport, said it has increased patrols and will meet with Raytheon, which makes the PIDS, this week.