Firefighters used an angle-grinder to cut off handcuffs which had become stuck on a defendant in the cells at Ballymena Courthouse on Thursday.
A fire engine, with flashing lights on, was parked outside the courthouse for a time around 11am.
A Fire Service spokeswoman said they received a call at 10.58am and one appliance attended from nearby Ballymena Fire Station.
She said: “Firefighters removed a set of handcuffs from a man using a disk cutter (essentially another name for an angle grinder). The incident was dealt with at 11.22am.”
An eye-witness said: “It was a very unusual incident. It is not often a fire engine gets called to a court to deal with something like this.
“The court sitting continued unaffected while all this was going on
“Several firefighters could be seen carrying equipment on their way out of the court.”