FALL RIVER — The acrobatics of a trespasser on the grounds of a Fall River school intimidated a security guard so much that he damaged his vehicle while trying to distance himself from the armed man.

Fall River Police responded to the Atlantis Charter School on Jefferson Street at approximately 4 a.m. on Thursday after receiving a report of an armed trespasser. A security guard for the school told police that he had been sitting in his car at the rear gate of the property when a strange man wearing a long black coat and holding a knife approached him. The guard said the man ran toward him and performed a back-flip while waving the knife.

The security guard told police he feared for his safety and backed his vehicle up towards the school building. While he was driving in reverse, the security guard struck the curb and damaged his vehicle. He then called police.

The trespasser ran along the wood line towards the other side of the school.

Police arrived and conducted a search of the grounds but could not locate the suspect.

A review of surveillance video from the school showed the suspect, and a retelling of the incident to other officers sparked a memory for Detective Dwaine Cabaceiras, who recalled an incident where a man performed back-flips off the loading dock of a mill while armed with wooden swords. The incident had taken place near the Atlantis Charter School. In the incident, the man landed on the ground after performing his gymnastics and hurled rocks at a police cruiser. He was later arrested by Lt. Gil Costa.

A search of the Fall River Police Department's database identified the male supsect as Joshua Rocha, 26, of 313 Anthony Street, Fall River. Police questioned Rocha at his home where he was seen wearing similar clothing as the person in the school's surveillance video depicted. Rocha invited the officers inside his home where they saw a knife in his bedroom. Rocha told police he had been in the Atlantis Charter School area with the knife because he used to run through that location before the school was built. He said he used the knife to cut through vegetation. Rocha told police he recalled seeing one unoccupied vehicle on the premises.

Police arrested Rocha on charges of assault by means of a dangerous weapon, disturbing the peace while armed, and trespassing. He was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Fall River District Court.