A police dog named Yoda helped capture a convicted murderer in Pennsylvania. The 4-year-old Belgian Malinois was part of a tactical team that apprehended Danilo Cavalcante. According to CNN, the takedown ended an almost 2-week-long manhunt for the fugitive.
Police dog joins epic manhunt for Danilo Cavalcante
The ordeal began on Aug. 31, when Cavalcante escaped from Chester County Prison. The 34-year-old was serving time for killing his former girlfriend, Deborah Brandão. He was also allegedly involved in a 2017 homicide case in Brazil. Though residents spotted the convict several times over the ensuing two weeks, he eluded capture.
Finally, authorities narrowed in on Cavalcante’s location in Chester County, Pennsylvania. The fugitive was sleeping on a rifle stolen from a local resident. Around 8 a.m. on Wednesday, approximately 20 law enforcement officers, plus several K-9s, descended on him. When law enforcement initially approached, Cavalcante fled through a wooded area. Officials noticed Cavalcante’s head sticking out from the underbrush. Then, they released Yoda. The police dog “bit and subdued” the fugitive, according to CNN. With Yoda’s help, it only took five minutes to apprehend Cavalcante.
K-9 aids in murderer’s arrest
Yoda not only aided in catching Cavalcante; he also ensured officers weren’t hurt in the process. No shots were fired during the arrest. The police dog prevented Cavalcante from grabbing the stolen rifle, which was in the fugitive’s reach.
“He was just essential as far as the tracking and searching, as were numerous other K-9s that were here,” Robert Clark, supervisory deputy US Marshal for Pennsylvania’s eastern district, told CNN about Yoda’s involvement. “All these K-9 resources were utilized from different tactical teams from the area, and they were just incredible resources.”
Clark explained that Yoda is a “bite and hold” police dog. That means he was trained to hold suspects down until a handler commands him to release the hold. In this case, Yoda bit Cavalcante on the scalp and the “lower extremity area.” These maneuvers helped keep Cavalcante down.
“When the dog got to him, he then went flat with the dog on him – the dog was able to detain him there,” Lt. Colonel George Bivens of the Pennsylvania State Police said in a news conference yesterday.
Though Cavalcante “continued to resist,” the fugitive was “forcibly taken into custody” by officers.
We certainly hope Yoda received some extra delicious treats for his heroic efforts!