A man who had been arrested by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey on Tuesday asked to use the bathroom and then tried to escape through the restroom ceiling, where he remained hiding for two hours, authorities said.
Despite reports claiming the man was "being deported," a CBP spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that the man was a US citizen who had been indicted on criminal charges and was prohibited from leaving New York state pending a trial. He was attempting to flee the country when officers arrested him, the spokesperson said.
As officials then escorted him through Terminal C in the airport, the man asked to use the restroom and "subsequently attempted to escape into the ceiling."
The man was in the bathroom ceiling for approximately two hours, the spokesperson said, after which "CBP was able to extract the subject" from his hiding place.
Port Authority Police helped remove the man from the ceiling after getting a call at around 11:30 a.m., Lenis Rodrigues, a Port Authority Police spokesperson, told BuzzFeed News.
"The incident resulted in minimal operation impact to Newark Liberty International Airport," Rodrigues said.
A tweet from the airport at 12:36 p.m. noted that Level 1 in Terminal C was reopened, though there was no further explanation included.
The unnamed man, who had been indicted for smuggling fentanyl, was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for federal prosecution.