JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A prisoner under police guard at Jersey City Medical Center said he was just going to the restroom, but ended up climbing into the ceiling and trying to escape, police said.

The restroom inside the hospital was destroyed by the suspect, as hospital visitors were left terrified, CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis reported Monday.

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“Lord knows we were all scared,” hospital visitor Yvette Rivers said.

The nervous ER visitors watched as Jersey City police hauled the suspect away in a squad car, but not before he apparently got creative.

“He said that he was going to use the bathroom and whatnot, and he escaped through the ceiling,” hospital patient J.C. Jimenez said.

However, hospital officials said there really was no escape. The ceiling tiles could not hold the man’s weight, and firewalls had him trapped.

“There’s no question – there’s nowhere else to go when you go to the bathroom,” hospital employee Charmaine Ifill said. “It’s either up or out and that’s it.”

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The ER had to delay seeing patients for about an hour while police brought in K-9 dogs and tracked the suspect to a corner in the emergency room ceiling. His movements gave him away, police said.

Hospital patients and visitors were left wondering how a prisoner could cause such a commotion when he was under police guard the whole time.

“They should have had him handcuffed in the bathroom, with the prisoner, in the bathroom,” Rivers said.

But since the prisoner was not a violent offender, there were no cuffs, and no interior bathroom escort, police said.

After the bathroom debacle, the policy could change, CBS 2’s Dennis reported.

Do you think the hospital needs to change its security policy? Leave your comments…

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