A man trying to rob a pharmacy wound up crying for help after becoming stuck in an air shaft for 10 hours, police said.

It took firefighters an hour and a half to free Jeffery Mumani, 25, from the metal air shaft at a CVS store on Tuesday.

Mumani told the Ocala Star-Banner that he went in the shaft after he heard a cat inside.

"I was trying to chase the cat," Mumani said. He denied attempting to steal prescription drugs. "No, sir, it's a feline cat — a little animal."

On Monday night, Mumani removed an air conditioning cover and tried to enter the store via the shaft but became trapped, Marion County Sheriff's Capt. James Pogue said.

The man began calling for help about 8 a.m. Tuesday.

"He was begging the manager to help him out," Pogue said.

Mumani suffered only minor cuts and was in stable condition, Fire Rescue spokeswoman Heather Danenhower told the Orlando Sentinel.

Mumani has been charged with commercial burglary among other charges, Pogue said.

Online records with the state corrections department indicate Mumani has previous convictions in South Florida for burglary and drug-related crimes.

Mumani was convicted in Palm Beach County for possession of the prescription painkiller Oxycontin, according to a Marion County Sheriff's Office report.