Hialeah man breaks mother's cellphone, eyeglasses during dispute, police say

Incident prompts lockdown at 3 Hialeah schools

HIALEAH, Fla. – Three Hialeah schools were placed on lockdown Wednesday morning while police searched for a man who ran from police while armed with a knife.

Sky 10 was flying above Ben Sheppard Elementary School as police swarmed the campus with their guns drawn.

Hialeah police Sgt. Carl Zogby said the elementary school, along with Ben Sheppard Primary Learning Center and Jose Marti Mast Academy, were on lockdown during the search.

Zogby said the man, identified as John Chavez, 30, ran from police after a violent domestic dispute at his home on West 21st Avenue.

According to an arrest report, Chavez and his mother got into an argument after Chavez found out that she had an ex parte order issued against him.

Police said Chavez broke his mother's cellphone and eyeglasses, while waving a knife around.

When officers showed up at the home to serve the order, Chavez fled, the report said.

Zogby said Chavez, who is trained as a Mixed Martial Arts fighter, was eventually taken into custody.


"Imagine -- big, strong, trained fighter having a psychiatric crisis, armed with a knife -- potentially very dangerous," Zogby said.

Police established a perimeter from West 20th Avenue to West 24th Avenue and from West 52nd Street to West 56th Street during their search for Chavez.

Police said Chavez has depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

"Instead of putting him in jail, they should have taken him to the hospital to be checked by a doctor, you know, because he's a nice guy," a neighbor told Local 10 News.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools superintendent Alberto Carvalho said the lockdowns have since been lifted.

Chavez has an extensive arrest history and has previously faced numerous charges, including drug possession, theft, burglary, domestic violence, battery, criminal mischief and resisting arrest.

Chavez faces an aggravated assault charge for Wednesday's incident against his mother. Zogby said he will also face charges of burglary and fleeing and eluding police for hiding out in his neighbor's yard.

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