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A man wielding a machete was arrested without injury after an hours-long standoff that caused Bozeman police to close several blocks near downtown and evacuate students from Hawthorne Elementary School.

Police pulled the driver over at about 1 p.m., and arrested him after a standoff in the snow shortly after 4 p.m.

Hawthorne Elementary students were evacuated to the Bozeman Public Library and began being picked up by parents and family around 2:30 p.m., according to a news release from the city.

“The decision (to evacuate the school) was made just out of an abundance of caution,” said Bozeman Police Capt. Dana McNeil at a press conference around 3:15 p.m. “There was no immediate threat to any of the children.”

Marilyn King, the Bozeman School District’s deputy superintendent of instruction, said the evacuation went smoothly.

“This is something we practice,” King said. “We had a direct route to the Bozeman Public Library.”

McNeil said the man was brandishing the machete for an unknown reason, then put it against his neck and refused to leave his vehicle as police negotiated with the man. He had parked directly outside of Hawthorne School.

Officers from the Bozeman Police Department, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and the Montana State University Police Department responded to the incident.

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