Prisoner Temporarily Escapes Authorities at Newark Airport by Climbing into Bathroom Ceiling

Benjamin VanHoose

When you gotta go, you gotta go.

At around 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, police officers helped apprehend a prisoner who attempted to escape custody inside the Newark Liberty International Airport, a spokesperson for the Port Authority Police Department told PEOPLE.

The male inmate is a U.S. citizen who was attempting to leave the country despite having been indicted and prohibited from leaving the state of New York pending a trial, said a spokesperson from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

According to CBP, the man was being escorted to the New Jersey airport’s Terminal C — which services United Airlines — for processing, when he asked to use the restroom. Once inside the bathroom, he attempted to escape via the ceiling.

CBP officers then were able to “extract” the temporarily-escaped inmate from the ceiling and handed him over to Homeland Security Investigations agents for federal prosecution.

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Newark Liberty Airport

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Police said the situation “resulted in minimal operational impact” to the airport, which stayed in use during the incident.

Per the Newark Liberty International Airport Twitter account, Level 1 of Terminal C — which sees arrivals and houses baggage claim — was closed to vehicular traffic briefly during the afternoon, reopening at about 12:30 p.m.

The charges for which the man was indicted prior to the failed escape was not immediately disclosed.