Police dog helps recapture US fugitive

A police dog helped recapture a fugitive as he tried to crawl away in a thick forest area two weeks after he escaped from a prison in the US state of Pennsylvania, authorities said. The dog, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois male named Yoda, was from one of two tactical teams that moved in on Danelo Cavalcante, 34, at around 8 a.m. on Wednesday in Chester County, ending an intensive manhunt that involved more than 500 officers, CNN reported. Cavalcante, who escaped from the Chester County Prison on August 31, was convicted last month in the 2021 killing of his former girlfriend. He is also wanted in a 2017 homicide case in Brazil, a US Marshals Service official said. At a news conference on Wednesday night, Lt. Colonel George Bivens of the Pennsylvania State Police said Yoda was a significant force in the fugitive’s takedown, preventing the latter from using a stolen rifle in his possession that lay within arms-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. “All these K-9 resources were utilized from different tactical teams from the area, and they were just incredible resources.” Yoda joined the search from the US Border Patrol Tactical Unit stationed out of Michigan, Clark added. According to Col Bivens, the fugitive was sleeping when police finally located him, lying on top of a rifle he had stolen from a nearby resident late Monday night. Officers took Cavalcante by surprise, and he tried to flee by crawling through the thick underbrush with the stolen rifle in hand, Bivens said. The tactical teams made the decision to deploy Yoda – knowing Cavalcante was armed – before upgrading to deadly force, Clark told CNN.