A 21-year-old special needs student who was waving a kitchen knife with an 8-inch blade in the front of a school in Placentia was taken into custody Friday after officers fired a foam round at him.

Police were notified about 1 p.m. that a student was holding a large kitchen knife at George Key School at 710 Golden Ave., according to Placentia Police Department Sgt. Chris Anderson.

“Officers arrived within one minute and observed the student in question in the courtyard to the front of the school,” Anderson said. “The male was waving the kitchen knife.”

Despite repeated commands, the student refused to put down the knife and with his free hand made a cutting gesture across his throat, Anderson said.

That’s when an officer fired the foam round, which struck the young man in the abdomen and caused him fall to the ground and drop the knife. Officers then moved in and handcuffed the student, who was treated at the scene by Orange County Fire Authority personnel for a minor wound and then taken to a hospital, where he was put on a 72-hour mental health evaluation hold, Anderson said.

The man is a Placentia resident and a student at Venture Academy, which is affiliated with the George Key School, Anderson said.

“The Placentia Police Department has had several prior contacts with this subject,” Anderson said. “Due to the associated medical situation, we are not releasing his name.”

The man got the knife from a cooking class on the campus, Anderson said.

George Key School and nearby Golden Elementary School were placed on a brief lockdown during the confrontation, but no students were outside when it happened and none were threatened, according to Anderson.

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