Crime

Knife-wielding MMA fighter threatened his mother and ran from Hialeah police

Manhunt for suspect closes Hialeah streets

Miami-Dade and Hialeah SWAT teams and police officers cordoned off several blocks surrounding the 2000 block of W 56 St in search for an armed man going house-to-house and block-by-block. The suspect was apprehended and was lead out of the area in
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Miami-Dade and Hialeah SWAT teams and police officers cordoned off several blocks surrounding the 2000 block of W 56 St in search for an armed man going house-to-house and block-by-block. The suspect was apprehended and was lead out of the area in

Hialeah police say Wednesday morning’s pursuit that interrupted traffic and put schools on lockdown began with a knife-wielding 6-2, 220-pound MMA fighter menacing his mother Tuesday night.

When John Chavez found out Iris Chavez filed an ex parte order for his involuntary mental examination, the 30-year-old destroyed her cell phone and glasses while waving around a knife, according to Chavez’s arrest affidavit. Police left that night around 9:30 p.m. and returned Wednesday around 8:15 a.m. to serve the order. Chavez ran.

For the next two and a half hours, life in part of Hialeah was disrupted. Ben Sheppard Elementary and Jose Marti Mast Academy Middle School were on lockdown for an hour Wednesday morning while police searched the area from West 20th to 24th avenues and 52nd to 56th streets.

Police say they caught Chavez after 11 a.m. near the corner of West 56th Street and West 21st Court. He’s in custody of Miami-Dade Corrections on a charge of aggravated assault-domestic violence with charges of fleeing law enforcement and burglary (from hiding in a backyard) probably coming.

That was Chavez’s second arrest this week by Hialeah police. Monday, Hialeah police arrested him on a charge of firearms possession by a felon. Chavez was back on the street by the evening, released on his own recognizance despite an extensive history with the court system. He served two years, two months in prison, from 2014-16, stemmed from a slew of burglary charges and resisting an officer with violence charge.

His arrest affidavit says Chavez suffers from bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia.

Alex Harris: 305-376-5005, @harrisalexc

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