MANHATTAN — A pair of CNN reporters were arrested Tuesday for trying three times to break into the World Trade Center construction site — in broad daylight and in front of police officers, the NYPD said.
Port Authority police arrested Yon Pomrenze, 35, of New York, and Connor Fieldman Boals, 26, of Brooklyn, after they tried to push past an electronic gate at a manned police booth at Vesey and Church streets at 2:08 p.m.
Pomrenze and Boals told the officer that if a 16-year-old could get onto the site, they should also be able to get in, a Port Authority police spokesman said.
The duo was referring to the New Jersey teenager Justin Casquejo, who slipped into the grounds last week through a hole in the fence and climbed to the top of the 104-story tower.
The reporters were also carrying GoPro helmet cameras similar to the ones used by three skydivers who were arrested Monday for parachuting from the top of the tower last year and taping their breathtaking leap.
But unlike the teen and the skydivers, who breached the site in the middle of the night, Pomrenze and Boals showed up in the early afternoon when the WTC was bustling with construction workers and pedestrians, and where security had been tightened following the embarrassing security lapses.
According to officials, the two newshounds initially tried to get past a manned gate to the WTC site at Vesey and Washington streets, and were stopped by a PAPD officer but not arrested.
That is where they told the officer they should be able to get in if a 16-year-old did.
Port Authority spokesman Joseph Pantangelo said the two then walked east on Vesey Street to the entrance to the WTC PATH station, where Boals was seen “on two occasions” trying to scale the fence and stopped, but again not arrested.
Finally, the men were handcuffed and taken into custody after they “forcibly pushed their way through” an electronic gate at Vesey and Church streets, where officers were stationed.
Both men were charged with criminal trespassing, obstruction of governmental administration and disorderly conduct.
The officers confiscated their GoPro cameras, another video camera and a tripod, officials said.
A spokesman for CNN in a statement reported that the network was unaware of their producers’ WTC mission, and "are actively looking into it.”