08/22/2012 04:26 EDT | Updated 10/22/2012 05:12 EDT

Prisoner's Courthouse Escape Attempt Foiled

A prisoner facing weapons charges failed in his attempt to escape from the Fredericton courthouse through the building’s ventilation system on Wednesday afternoon.

Const. Danielle Carmichael, the media liaison officer for the Fredericton Police, said a 26-year-old male was brought to the Fredericton courthouse to face a number of charges.

The man was in a holding cell — with two sheriff’s department officers outside — when he climbed through a vent.

“He managed to escape through a vent in the ceiling approximately 16 [inches] by 16 [inches] where he made it to the first level ceiling of the building, but due to the construction he was not able to escape or get any further when he returned back to the cell himself and was arrested,” Carmichael said.

The man was out of his cell for “a little over a half an hour," she said.

During that time, the police ordered the courthouse to be evacuated.

Keith Ball, a regional sheriff with the Department of Justice, said the decision to order people out of the courthouse was “just precautionary.”

There had been discussion at one point of bringing in a dog team to assist in the search, so it would have been easier to have people out of the building when the dogs were around, Ball said.

The man, whose name has not been released, is now facing an additional charge of attempting to escape lawful custody.

Ball said the man is tall with a “very slim build," which enabled him to slip through the vent.

The man spent the remainder of the afternoon in a different cell as he awaited his previously-scheduled court appearance.