After an intensive search, authorities successfully captured Danelo Cavalcante, who escaped from prison after being sentenced to life for the murder of his ex-girlfriend. However, the hero in his capture is Yoda, a four-year-old Belgian Malinois dog belonging to the elite Border Patrol team’s BORTAC K-9 unit. 

Yoda tracked down Cavalcante, hiding among logs in a wooded area in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and bit him, producing a minor wound, reported The New York Times.

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In a press conference on September 13, Governor of Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro, announced the capture, saying, “Shortly after 8:00 a.m. they captured the suspect.”

In a video shared by Univision, people at the scene witnessed when agents wiped Cavalcante’s blood-covered face with a tissue because of the dog bite on his head. 

They proudly photographed their successful capture after ensuring he had no concealed weapons by cutting off his shirt. They subsequently took him to a police station and a maximum-security prison.

Thanks to a plane equipped with a thermal camera detecting a signal, agents surrounded Cavalcante

Following Cavalcante’s escape, authorities started an operation. On Tuesday night, an anti-theft alarm activation heat-detecting camera on a plane captured a signal, prompting ground teams to secure the area.

ABC informed that when Cavalcante found himself surrounded, he attempted to crawl through the undergrowth with a rifle he was carrying. That’s when Yoda discovered him and bit him on the head.

At a press conference, Pennsylvania State Police Lieutenant Colonel George Bivens explained that the agents’ element of surprise was crucial, as they had surrounded Cavalcante without him realizing it.

Regarding Yoda’s role, Bivens highlighted at the news conference that police dogs play a significant role in such operations. He explained they train police dogs to bite only once and follow commands.

US Marshal Supervisory Deputy Robert Clark, speaking to NewsNation, revealed that Yoda underwent training at a facility in Detroit, Michigan. He expressed gratitude for Yoda’s contribution to the investigation.

“We are learning quite a lot about that dog that is a hero today and we are very grateful that we could have joined the investigation,” he said.


Yoda, a member of a tactical unit based in El Paso, Texas, is a Belgian Malinois, described by the American Kennel Club as “intelligent, confident, and versatile.” As reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, these dogs work hard and form strong bonds with humans.

Yoda has become an internet hero, with families expressing their gratitude for his work

In August 2021, Cavalcante, 34, was convicted of first-degree murder for stabbing his girlfriend to death in front of her children. Shortly after his sentencing, he escaped from Chester County Jail in Pocopson Township, awaiting transfer to a state correctional facility.

During his 13 days as a fugitive, Cavalcante survived by stealing watermelons from a farm and drinking water from streams, as Supervising Deputy US Marshal Robert Clark revealed in an interview with News Nation.

After enduring days of uncertainty and fear caused by this dangerous individual, Pennsylvania residents can finally regain their peace of mind, as expressed by users on social media.

“Did you hear how a K-9 officer helped apprehend Danelo Cavalcante, the escaped Chester Co. prisoner? Fellow members of the Animal Protection Caucus and I are grateful for how these 4-legged officers help local police departments and the PA State Police protect our communities,” shared an X user.

Other expect Yoda gets a delicious reward after his fantastic accomplishment:

“I hope this dog gets a steak dinner tonight,” wrote a TikToker.

Some even compare the dog with Yoda, the iconic character from Star Wars.

“Yoda bit Darth Vader! I’d love to see it! Give that dog a bone-in Porterhouse steak,” added another user.