Now that escaped murderer Danelo Cavalcante is back in custody, DVJournal asked readers for their thoughts.
Cavalcante was on the loose for two weeks after escaping from Chester County Prison in an identical way that another inmate used in May. Cavalcante, who is 5-foot tall, was able to crab-walk up a narrow passageway to access the roof, then jumped to another roof in a less secure section of the jail, pushed through razor wire, and was free.
While on the lam, Cavalcante stole a van and drove to northern Chester County. He contacted friends to get help and stole items, including a rifle.
More than 500 state, local, and federal officers, including air assets, high-tech equipment, horses, and K-9 officers, participated in the search. A Belgian Malinois finally apprehended Cavalcante as members of state and federal task forces closed in on him.
No civilians or law enforcement officers were injured.
“Thanks to all those who worked tirelessly to bring this search to an end. As for the escape, it’s time for a professional ‘debrief’ and analysis of systems to improve procedures, and that should be done in a nonpartisan fashion and not done to try to score cheap political points,” said Rich Heiland.
Eileen Potts Smith said, “My thoughts go to the officers who stood in the heat, climbed through the woods, dealt with bugs, went hungry, dealt with rain, and managed to catch him with not a shot fired. Hope they are given a well-deserved break. Great job, officers!”
Joyce Erbenich Starr said, “He should never have been here in the first place.”
And Kryssa Renninger Brasch said, “My thoughts go gratefully to the dog who subdued him! That K-9 unit deserves any reward money to spend on the care and training of those dogs!”
“The first day, I was worried if this would end up with another murder,” said Anita Edgarian. “Frankly, I am surprised how he didn’t hurt anyone to get inside a home to change appearance, steal a car, etc. He could have easily done so and got away the very first hour or two.
“I didn’t leave the kids at home by themselves and just checked the doors and basement windows,” she added.
“Mostly, people are mad at the leadership, and so am I,” Edgarian said. “Why is he here? Why wasn’t he deported? What is going on with the current DA’s Office and Sheriff’s Office?
“Apparently, both offices are a mess under Democrats, and people want accountability,” she said. “They are worried about their campaigns while dangerous escapee runs around. Were these offices just a stepping stone for a judge position?”