RED-FACED John Wallace found himself in need of emergency help after a prank went pear-shaped.
John and a pal got themselves into an awkward situation after they became handcuffed together.
The pair had slapped on the cuffs for a bit of a laugh but their smiles quickly vanished when they discovered they couldn’t get free.
And before too long they realised they needed the help of firefighters.
Student John, 18, of Houghton, who is studying a uniformed services qualification and hopes to go into the Army, said: “We were in my cousin’s house and found these cuffs and just decided to put them on as a daft laugh.
“He said he had a handcuff key but he could not find it.
“We walked down to Houghton police station to try and get them off, but their key did not work, so we were advised to go to West Rainton fire station to cut them off.
“They had to ring the police to make sure we were not escaped convicts.”
John and his pal, who is too embarrassed to be named, turned up at Sunderland South station at about midnight.
After checking with police to make sure they were not assisting offenders, firefighters used a vice and hacksaws to free the pair.
It took them about 15 minutes to release John, who lives with parents Julie and Joe and his 16 and seven-year-old sisters in Longfellow Street.
“They started out with a ring cutter then put my arm in a vice and hacksawed it.
“It was a bit nervewracking as the hacksaw blade was just skimming my hand.
“My mate’s hand was purple because the cuff was digging into his hand, but he just slept it off.
“The firefighters were just laughing about it.
“I think I will do my arms and legs next time,” he joked.