Montreal police say the man who was rescued from a hole on St-Denis Street at Rachel Street may face charges of mischief for allegedly jumping in on purpose.

Police say the man is known to police and may have jumped into the hole to protest against ongoing construction work along St-Denis, in front of his restaurant.

A woman on the scene, Jing Xu, says it was her husband who fell into the hole. She believes it was an accident.

Man owns struggling Wok N Roll restaurant

The couple own the Wok N Roll restaurant on the street and Xu says they are on the brink of declaring bankruptcy because of the construction.

No customers. From Friday until now, there has been no access to my restaurant. It is very dangerous. - Jing Xu, owner of Wok N Roll restaurant

"About one month ago, the people from the City of Montreal came to see me and told me there would be construction right in front of my restaurant," Xu said.

"But now? No customers. From Friday until now, there has been no access to my restaurant. It is very dangerous."

Xu says she spoke to people from the construction site about access but they did not fix it.

According to police, this is the third time Xu's husband has publicly protested against the construction.

Tough rescue operation 

Ian Ritchie, operations chief for the Montreal fire department, says the special rescue unit took awhile to get the man out of the hole because they had to secure the area.

"We had to ensure that the sides of all the walls were structurally sound," Ritchie said.

Ritchie said a temporary wood sidewalk had been put in place because of construction work. Firefighters aren't sure if the man fell between the temporary sidewalk and the street or if the sidewalk caved in.

Electricity had to be cut to the area before rescue workers could retrieve the man, because there are electrical cables running under the street.

Ritchie also said firefighters had to ensure the gas line had not been compromised.

The man was lifted out of the hole on a stretcher, using pulleys attached to the fire truck's ladder.

The man did not suffer any injuries.