A Port Authority police officer, now retired, has told News 12 that that the story of a Barnegat resident who claimed he was pulled alive from the World Trade Center rubble is untrue.
The story just appeared on News12, and a second half is scheduled for tomorrow.
“I never saw the person, never met the person; I was never inside the building,” he says.
For years, Charles Giles of Barnegat has claimed he was pulled alive from the rubble of the North Tower after the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, by a Port Authority officer, number 1236.
In the segment, News12 questions Giles on his description of being in the North Tower and how he has claimed to meet the officer, identified as Mark Meier.
Giles then notes in the segment that it was possible he got the badge number wrong.
"I remember a patch, and I remember ... the number 1236. Could I have gotten that number wrong, yes," Giles said. But in the segment, the reporter shows Giles video where he claims to have met Meier, and Giles responds: "I probably have the wrong shield number."
He had no answer for why the person whom he claims to have met in the video identified themselves as Meier.
At the center of Giles’ story is his claim of being inside the tower when it collapsed on top of him. The report also notes that Giles is not listed among those pulled from the rubble.
His dramatic story has helped him receive thousands of dollars in donations from the community to offset his medical bills and living expenses.
More can be found here.
Several residents in Barnegat have questioned Giles story, and in response, Giles has told Patch in past interviews that he can prove he was a 9/11 responder, and has showed video footage obtained from Fox of himself - at four seconds into this clip - in New York, administering first aid, on Sept. 11.
But some township residents, like Phil Checchia, have questioned the story, telling Patch in past interviews that the footage that Giles has shown to prove he was at the site did not look like he was as close to the rubble as claimed.
Some residents began questioning Giles after his name was connected to a controversy involving a truck that transported a tower piece, recovered from the wreckage of Ground Zero, to Barnegat two years ago to serve as a memorial for those who died.
Thomas J. Scalgione, 40, of Manahawkin and Mark Anthony Niemczyk, 66, of Tinton Falls were accused of promoting a bogus 9/11 victims' charity by driving around in a pickup truck painted with the names of first responders who perished.
"It is definitely the same truck that was used to bring the piece of steel," Bill Cox, transportation coordinator for the Barnegat Township School District told Patch last year. "Being a small community, we know the same cast of characters."
The Attorney General's Office sued Scalgione — who has had a long history of theft and sex offense convictions — and Niemczyk for allegedly operating an unregistered charity.