Even as he was surrounded by law enforcement officials on Wednesday, 14 days after escaping from prison in southeast Pennsylvania, Danelo Cavalcante was not ready to give himself up.
When the 34-year-old convicted murderer saw officers closing in on him as he hid behind a tractor store, he tried to get away by crawling through some thick brush, KABC-TV reported.
A police K-9 was sent in after the fugitive, who was armed with a stolen .22-caliber rifle.
The K-9, a Belgian shepherd named Yoda, “bit him and held him down, and he was taken into custody,” KYW-TV reported.
The arrest had officials and citizens breathing a sigh of relief.
“Our nightmare is finally over and the good guys won,” Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan said.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers, search dogs, helicopter crews and drone pilots had joined in the manhunt for Cavalcante, who escaped from the Chester County Prison on Aug. 31.
Local schools were closed during the hunt and residents were advised to lock their doors and vehicles.
Around 1 a.m. Wednesday, a Drug Enforcement Administration airplane located a heat signature in South Coventry Township.
Police tactical teams and U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents surrounded the area and waited. Shortly after 8 a.m., they began to move in.
“They had the element of surprise,” State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said. “Cavalcante did not realize he was surrounded.”
There were no injuries to officers during the capture, and no shots were fired. Cavalcante was bitten by the K-9 on the scalp and was treated at the scene.
Detroit Sector #BORTAC assisted in the capture of escaped murderer Danelo Cavalcante this morning in Chester County, PA after an extensive manhunt. Outstanding job to our Detroit-based agents and everyone else involved – especially K9 Yoda! pic.twitter.com/PCspFynq8W
— Chief Patrol Agent Robert Danley (@USBPChiefDTM) September 13, 2023
Cavalcante had recently been convicted in the brutal stabbing death of his ex-girlfriend, Deborah Brandao. At the time of his escape, he had been awaiting transfer to a state prison to serve a life sentence.
He is also wanted for murder in his home country of Brazil. Cavalcante is in the U.S. illegally.
Soon after Cavalcante’s capture, officials notified Brandao’s family, “who, as you can imagine, had been living in a complete nightmare,” Ryan said.
“They are so grateful to the men and women who helped with this capture,” she said. “They can now finally sleep again.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.