The Halifax provincial courthouse was shutdown during the lunch hour Wednesday as sheriff deputies used pepper spray to foil an inmate's escape attempt while he was being transported into court.

Department of Justice spokeswoman Jennifer Gavin said the incident happened at noon time as two sheriff deputies were taking the handcuffs off an offender before leading the person into court.

“Before any offender goes into a court room the normal procedure is to remove the handcuffs,” Gavin explained. “At this point, the offender was able to get away from the sheriffs that were immediately besides him and made it to the main lobby. At this point, the sheriffs were able to pepper spray the offender.”


Gavin wouldn’t say the age or gender of the offender, but that the individual was in custody prior to being led up to court. The offender was being transported into a court room on the third floor before allegedly deciding to bolt. He was re-apprehended by three sheriffs after being pepper sprayed.

“Our sheriffs are very well-trained. They reacted very quickly and efficiently,” Gavin said. “They effectively managed to re-apprehend the offender very quickly. And by all preliminary reports, all proper procedures were being fore-followed.”

Gavin said the courthouse was re-opened at 1 p.m.

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