Escaped Brazilian murderer steals rifle, outwits huge US manhunt
Schools near Philadelphia closed, and residents were advised to lock their doors after an escaped Brazilian murderer dodged gunfire to steal a rifle from a home and was declared "extremely dangerous."
In the vicinity of Philadelphia on Tuesday, educational institutions were shuttered, and inhabitants were advised to secure their residences. This measure was enacted due to the escape of a Brazilian convict who had managed to evade gunfire and pilfer a rifle from a private residence, designating him as an "extremely dangerous" fugitive.
Danelo Cavalcante, who executed a daring escape from Chester County Prison nearly a fortnight ago, has captivated both the fear and curiosity of the American populace. He has continued to elude police pursuit, including canine units, aerial drones, helicopters, and specialized armed teams in the suburbs surrounding Philadelphia. Despite the authorities' inability to apprehend the convicted murderer, the Brazilian national has repeatedly appeared on residential security cameras and even on wildlife monitoring cameras, effectively transforming his criminal exploits into a macabre reality television show.
Since scaling the prison wall on August 31st, the 34-year-old fugitive has successfully acquired fresh clothing, sustenance, and a van, which he subsequently abandoned. He also managed to get a shave.
On Monday night, he escalated the situation by unlawfully entering a garage and absconding with a 22 caliber rifle equipped with a scope and flashlight, as stated by Pennsylvania police spokesperson George Bivens during a press briefing.
The homeowner confronted the escapee and discharged a pistol in his direction; however, preliminary reports suggest that the shots missed Cavalcante, who ultimately eluded capture. Despite his modest stature of just five feet (1.52 meters), Cavalcante is now officially categorized as "armed and extremely dangerous," according to Bivens.
Needle in a haystack
In addition to disseminating warnings to residents within the expansive search area west of Philadelphia, the authorities made the decision early on Tuesday to close schools within the Oakland J. Robert school district. Bivens emphasized, "We are not currently evacuating residences, but we are urging residents to exercise caution and, once again, secure their doors."
#WATCH : Video of a convicted murderer escaping from prison in Pennsylvania. Danelo Cavalcante "crab-walked" up a wall to escape and has been on the run for nearly a week. #Pennsylvania #DaneloCavalcante #ChesterCounty #ChesterCountyJail #BREAKING #FLASH #latestnewsupdate… pic.twitter.com/h82jAIzXa5— upuknews (@upuknews1) September 12, 2023
In the challenging pursuit, the police spokesperson revealed that approximately 500 officers, including heavily armed tactical units, were scouring the area, yet their efforts were hindered by the densely wooded terrain.
In response to criticisms of perceived police incompetence in the ongoing manhunt, Bivens defended their efforts by likening the search for Cavalcante to finding the proverbial "needle in a haystack."
Overhead, helicopters buzzed through the region, encompassing Lundale Farm. Becki Patterson, the executive director, noted that officers were diligently navigating through their property and the surrounding woods. She described the area as riddled with "trees, creeks, bridges, and various nooks and crannies where someone could easily hide," adding that the situation had been exceptionally stressful.
Cavalcante's escape from custody occurred just one week after he had been sentenced to life imprisonment for the brutal murder of his girlfriend, during which he had stabbed her dozens of times in front of her children in 2021. Additionally, he is wanted for a separate murder in Brazil, according to US law enforcement.
To encourage details about Cavalcante's whereabouts, the police raised the reward from $20,000 to $25,000. Several sightings of the fugitive have been reported, with some depicting him shirtless and others showing him wearing a hoodie.
Authorities disclosed on Sunday that Cavalcante had altered his appearance by shaving off the dark beard and mustache seen in his initial "wanted" poster. Furthermore, it was revealed that he had abandoned a stolen 2020 White Ford Transit van, reportedly taken from a dairy in West Chester, after running out of fuel.
Last week, prison officials released a video demonstrating how Cavalcante managed to effect his escape. The footage showed the convict, attired in a white T-shirt and jeans, executing a crab-walk maneuver up two parallel walls, ascending to the roof, and traversing two razor-wire fences.