US authorities on Wednesday caught a "very dangerous" Brazilian criminal who escaped from a Pennsylvania prison two weeks ago and was armed, at the end of a difficult manhunt that left the region on edge. notch.
During a press conference in Chester County, west of Philadelphia, Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania Josh Shapiro confirmed the arrest shortly after 8 a.m. (12 p.m. GMT) in an undergrowth of the county of this Brazilian from 34 years old, Danelo Cavalcante.
While his police and his constituents had been living under great tension for 14 days, the head of the local executive assured that no one had been injured and that no shots had been “fired”.
The convicted murderer, however, suffered "a slight bite" from a police dog according to Mr. Shapiro and images on CNN showed him bleeding from his forehead.
Half an hour after the arrest, the Pennsylvania State Police made official on X (formerly Twitter) “THE CAPTURE of Danelo Cavalcante”.
Live on TV from the city of Chester, footage taken from a helicopter or drones showed handcuffed Danelo Cavalcante being taken out of a black armored van and having his T-shirt torn before being taken away by dozens of armed men.
The latter, harnessed and equipped like soldiers, were photographed and filmed with the fugitive dressed in a gray sweatshirt and treated as a sort of hunting trophy.
According to the authorities' account, the arrest was made in a woods in the county, after several clues and scouting during the night carried out using ground teams, dogs and aerial surveillance.
The officers wanted to catch Cavalcante "by surprise," explained Pennsylvania Police Lt. Col. George Bivens: but "this did not deter him from attempting to escape by beginning to crawl through the thick under -wood with his rifle", before realizing that he was "surrounded".
The officer specified that “the dogs had subdued him” and that the fugitive “resisted until his arrest”.
Cavalcante had evaded authorities for 14 days, causing panic in the region.
As late as Tuesday, in the middle of the start of the school year, schools near Philadelphia were closed and residents ordered to stay at home until Mr. Cavalcante was arrested.
The man broke into a property in South Coventry, about 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia, on Monday evening to steal a 22 long rifle that was in the garage, according to police. .
Sentenced in August to life in prison for stabbing his former girlfriend to death in 2021 in front of the victim's child, Cavalcante was considered armed and extremely "dangerous", according to the same source.
Two weeks after his escape, the authorities' embarrassment was evident.
Cavalcante had been spotted several times on video surveillance cameras, but each time he was able to escape from the search perimeters set up by the Pennsylvania police, supported by the FBI and US Marshals, the equivalent of specialized gendarmes. in the hunt for fugitives.
On Sunday, new photos were released, the fugitive appearing clean-shaven, presumably to change his physical appearance after the publication of a wanted poster where he had a black beard.
Cavalcante also managed to steal a white van, found abandoned on Sunday, probably because he was low on gas.
According to police, he sought help from two acquaintances, who notified authorities. His sister, illegally present in the United States, was arrested.
His mother, who lives in rural Brazil, told the New York Times on Tuesday evening that she was not surprised by her son's ability to evade police, because he had managed to do so in Brazil, where he is accused. for killing a man.
Danelo Cavalcante known as Danilo Souza Cavalcante in Brazil, rather slight with his height of approximately 1.52 m and his 54 kg according to a wanted poster, escaped on August 31 from the Chester County prison.
His escape, revealed by a prison camera video released by the authorities, was as spectacular as it was embarrassing for the prison, police and judicial administrations.
We saw the prisoner, wearing a white t-shirt, blue pants and white sneakers, hiding in a recess in the exercise yard, then climbing nimbly, spider-man style, his body horizontally between two walls, and disappearing onto the roof.
“Our nightmare is over and the good guys won,” local prosecutor Deb Ryan told the press.
13/09/2023 19:30:09 - Kennett Square (Etats-Unis) (AFP) - © 2023 AFP