Meet Yoda, the Dog Who Helped Authorities Capture Daniel Cavalcante

Yoda, a search dog for Customs and Border Patrol, helped authorities capture escaped murderer Daniel Cavalcante in Chester County on Sept. 13, 2023. (Photo: US Customs and Border Patrol)

By Associated Press

September 14, 2023

A Belgian Malinois named Yoda helped police capture escaped murderer Daniel Cavalcante in Chester County on Wednesday.

Who’s a good dog? Yoda, that’s who.

As escaped murderer Daniel Cavalcante began to crawl through heavy underbrush in Chester County to evade law enforcement Wednesday morning, the Customs and Border Patrol team released their search dog — a Belgian Malinois named Yoda — to pursue him.

The dog subdued Cavalcante in a struggle, leaving him with a bleeding scalp wound.

He was first bitten on the forehead, then the dog clenched his thigh and held on, said Robert Clark, supervisor of the US Marshals fugitive task force in Philadelphia. That’s when Cavalcante submitted, and officers got him in handcuffs.

“I think he was in pain at that point,” Clark said. “He was probably in excruciating pain.”

From the time law officers moved in to the time they captured Cavalcante took about five minutes, according to Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens.

Officers say Yoda played an important role in preventing Cavalcante from using the rifle he had with him.

“The fact a canine was able to apprehend the suspect is always a good thing to see,” said Patrick Fitzgerald, the owner of Keystone K-9 Services, to WPVI-TV.

Keystone senior community editor Patrick Berkery contributed to this report.

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