A 911 call made late Friday brought more than a dozen law enforcement patrol cars to the corner of Fern Avenue and 13th Street.
The call was made by someone in an apartment on the 1300 block of Fern Avenue.
When a deputy arrived a minute later, a man with a butcher knife, a baby and another young child were found inside.
"It's not a crime for you to walk around your house with a butcher knife, but I think the concern was that it was a 911 hangup," said Lt. J.T. Faulkner. "There was concern for the care of the kids and for the person with the knife, so they just wanted to be cautious with the whole thing."
San Diego County Sheriff's Department and San Diego Police Department patrol cars temporarily jammed the street and shut down Fern Avenue between 13th Street and Georgia Street.
Roughly an hour after the call was made, deputies entered the home without incident.
"We didn't have to kick in the door or anything like that," Faulkner said.
The unidentified man was then turned over to County of San Diego Mental Health Services, he said.