Nuevo Culture

Meet Yoda, the Dog Who Helped Capture Escaped Prisoner Danelo Cavalcante

After nearly two weeks of evading police, Danelo Cavalcante is back in custody. The escaped killer was captured Wednesday morning (September 13) with the help of a U.S. Border Patrol tactical unit dog named Yoda.

According to CNN, Cavalcante was bit and restrained by the 4-year-old Belgian Malinois after police saw him hiding in some brushwood. Police had tracked the fugitive to his location using heat technology from an aircraft.

“They were able to move in very quietly. They had the element of surprise,” said Lt. Col. George Bivens of the Pennsylvania State Police. “Cavalcante did not realize he was surrounded until that had occurred.”

When Cavalcante was captured, he still had the .22 caliber firearm he stole from a garage earlier this week. No shots were fired when police and Yoda moved in and stopped in a “bite and hold” position. Bivens said, “When the dog got to [Cavalcante], he then went flat with the dog on him – the dog was able to detain him there.” 

Bivens added, “I was told the rifle was within arm’s length.” And Yoda taking him down and holding him in place played a “large role” in Cavalcante not using the weapon.

“He was just essential as far as the tracking and searching, as were numerous other K-9s that were here,” said Robert Clark, the supervisory deputy US Marshal for Pennsylvania’s eastern district according to CNN.

“It is a true pleasure to stand here this morning and talk to all of you about bringing this manhunt to a successful conclusion and without getting anyone else hurt, most importantly,” Bivens said. “Far better that we’re able to release a patrol dog like this and have them subdue the individual than have to use lethal force.”

Danelo Cavalcante will now return to state prison where he will continue to serve out his life sentence for killing his ex-girlfriend in front of her two young children.