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Knife-wielding MMA fighter in custody after manhunt

Miami Herald logo Miami Herald 23/03/2017 Alex Harris and Andres Viglucci

Video still of suspect John Chavez in police custody in Hialeah, Fla., on Wednesday © CBSMiami Video still of suspect John Chavez in police custody in Hialeah, Fla., on Wednesday

Hialeah schools were briefly on lockdown Wednesday morning while police searched for an "irrational" mixed martial arts fighter wielding a knife.

Hialeah police said John Chavez, a 30-year-old MMA fighter with tattoos up to his neck, ran from police earlier in the morning after a "violent domestic dispute."

Hialeah police spokesman Lt. Carl Zogby said police got the call around 8:15 a.m., but Chavez was "acting irrationally" and ran off with a kitchen knife when cops arrived.

Zogby said Chavez, who is six-foot two-inches and 220 pounds, has a history of mental illness, violence and encounters with police. Chavez left his home Tuesday evening after police were called, and returned Wednesday morning, Zogby said.

Chavez previously served two years, two months in prison on a slew of burglary related charges and a resisting an officer with violence charge. Monday, he entered a not guilty plea to a charge of firearms possession by a felon and was released without having to post bond.

Ben Sheppard Elementary and Jose Marti Mast Academy Middle School were on lockdown between for an hour Wednesday morning while police searched the area from West 20th to 24th avenues and 52nd to 56th streets.

Alberto Carvalho, Miami-Dade schools superintendent, tweeted that children and staff at the schools are safe and the lockdowns were lifted. 

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