Danelo Cavalcante makes one last attempt to escape, but Yoda is released to stop him.
Wednesday, September 13, 2023 10:07PM
South Coventry, PA TWP—— As authorities rounded up Danelo Cavalcante, a fugitive murderer who had been on the run for two weeks after escaping from a Pennsylvania prison, he made a last-ditch attempt to escape.
But a K-9 named Yoda helped quickly end the manhunt.
An aircraft spotted Cavalcante’s heat signature in a wooded area of Chester County on Tuesday night.
Police established a tight cordon around him and made an arrest in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
When the search and rescue team of about 20 to 25 members got close enough for Cavalcante to realize they were there, Cavalcante remained prone, likely avoiding detection.
“They were able to get in very quietly,” said Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens. “They had a sense of surprise. Cavalcante didn’t realize he was surrounded until after it happened.” “
Cavalcante began crawling through thick brush in an attempt to escape, prompting Customs and Border Patrol to release Yoda, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois, to pursue him.
“They actually gave him verbal commands. He refused the verbal commands. He tried to crawl away,” said Deputy Chief Robert Clark of the U.S. Marshals Service.
The dog subdued Cavalcante during the struggle, causing Cavalcante’s scalp to be injured and bleeding.
Clark said he was bitten on the forehead first, then Yoda clenched his thighs and held on. At that point Cavalcante gave in and police handcuffed him.
“I think he was in pain,” Clark said. “He may be in unbearable pain.”
Bivens said it took about five minutes from the time law enforcement officers got involved to the time Cavalcante was captured.
Police said Yoda was instrumental in preventing Cavalcante from using the rifle he was carrying.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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