How Yoda, the K9, Helped Capture Escaped Pennsylvania Prisoner Danelo Cavalcante

“Yoda’s ability to smell that person from a distance, it’s so essential,” authorities say.

Yoda, the K9 who subdued escaped Pennsylvania convict Danelo Cavalcante, is being hailed a hero.

The K9 is trained to “bite and hold.” Released photos show Yoda pinning Cavalcante by the legs after biting his scalp. 

“Yoda’s ability to smell that person from a distance, it’s so essential,” authorities say.

Yoda is a Belgian Malinois, and joins the ranks of other legendary K9 heroes like Conan, who was praised by former President Donald Trump at the White House after braving explosions to chase down a leader of ISIS, and Cairo, the Seal Team 6 K9 who participated in the raid on Osama Bin Laden.

Homeowner Robert Russel witnessed Cavalcante's capture.

“We had seen police officers holstering their guns, letting their guard down a little bit,” Russel says. “They looked and so I was like ‘okay, they actually got him.’ And so we turned to our girls and said, ‘the cops got the bad guy.’”

Cavalcante is now inmate number QP 8931 at the Phoenix Maximum Security Prison in Pennsylvania. His cell measures 12 feet by 6 feet.

The prison is a $400 million, state-of-the-art facility that authorities claim is escape-proof. Surveillance cameras monitor every inch of the prison. There are hidden sensors in the razor wire at the top of the perimeter fences that set off alarms if an escaping inmate got that far. The previous highest profile prisoner was Bill Cosby.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro is defending a photo of authorities posed with Cavalcante in the center. Some critics are calling it "unethical and inhumane." But the governor says they were celebrating the prisoner's capture with no loss of life.  

Chester County residents are relieved after the capture of the escaped prisoner.

Longmoor Botanical Gardens, where Cavalcante was spotted, staged an illuminated fountain display Wednesday night. 

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