The courthouse in Hempstead handling nearly all countywide arraignments and adjudicating lower-level crimes went into lockdown Friday morning to help capture a youth who tried to escape, authorities said.

The young man, whose name authorities didn't make public, fled at about 10:10 a.m. from a stairwell in the building, where his treatment agency had brought him for an appearance on a criminal matter, said court spokesman Daniel Bagnuola.

During the lockdown, no one could come or leave the building at 99 Main Street.

A court officer on the lookout caught him within 15 or 20 minutes. Bagnuola did not give the location but confirmed the young man had been detained outside court.

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Because the defendant had been adjudicated a youthful offender, Bagnuola said, he could not provide any other details, such as his name, the original offense or the treatment agency that had custody of the defendant when he fled.

The defendant was ordered jailed without bail by Judge Sharon M. Gianelli.