A 21-year-old man being held in the Whanganui Court cells had a brief spell of freedom late yesterday before being recaptured.
The prisoner managed to damage the cell door to free himself into the cell block area.
He then assaulted a police constable who was in the cell block area before escaping.
Whanganui Police caught the man a short distance from the court,and returned him to custody.
The constable assaulted in the incident is recuperating at home and is expected to be back at work within a few days.