08/22/2012 03:44 EDT | Updated 10/22/2012 05:12 EDT

Fredericton prisoner accused of trying to escape courthouse through vent

FREDERICTON - A courthouse in New Brunswick was evacuated Wednesday after a prisoner allegedly tried to escape custody through a small vent in the building's ventilation system.

A 26-year-old man was brought to the provincial court in Fredericton around noon to face weapons-related charges and was placed in a holding cell, Fredericton police said.

Const. Danielle Carmichael said the man, whose legs were shackled, then climbed into a vent measuring about 40 x 40 centimetres as guards were nearby.

"But because of the structure of the building, he wasn't able to get anywhere," Carmichael said in an interview, adding that he only made it to the ceiling above the holding cells. "So, he actually returned himself."

Carmichael said the man, whose name has not been released, was arrested for attempting to escape lawful custody.

She said the building was evacuated for about a half hour as a precaution.

(CKHJ, The Canadian Press)