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9.14.23 – Tri State Alert

Danelo Cavalcante, the 34-year-old convicted murderer who escaped a Pennsylvania State Prison at the end of August, was taken into custody yesterday after eluding police for 13 days.  

Cavalcante was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for stabbing his girlfriend 38 times in front of her two young children in 2021. 

Governor Josh Shapiro in a speech yesterday lauded the entire event. 

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “I back the blue. There’s no two ways about it. My family has got a blue running through their veins here. I’m just not sure that the governor yesterday and his victory speech was necessarily appropriate. To do the championing of 13 days in which to narrow down this individual and Pennsylvania’s best is on display here. I don’t know who is writing his speeches, but I think it would have been better to have just gone quietly instead of the photo op.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM added, “For the criticism that President Bush got over his mission accomplished something with terrorism. When you overstate the win and don’t necessarily start pointing out some of the flaws like how about the policies Governor Shapiro that your party supports for an open border that allowed this guy to get? Where was his ex-girlfriend, why was she the one that realized hey, this is a killer and I might go to the authorities? It’s not her job to vet illegal aliens coming into the country and she paid with her life. To say that no members of the community were harmed. I’m glad they weren’t captured by this guy. But let’s not forget the community members that were harmed by the policies that our governor supports.”

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “I thought he went overboard at the press conference yesterday, too, on this effort. We all support the police, no doubt they put a lot of hard work into capturing this guy. But clearly, this did not go the way it should have. The fact that it took two weeks to catch him.”

Reporting showed Cavalcante was living off of watermelons from local fields and streams for water. 

Barkdoll continued, “The backstory is apparently there was a burglar alarm that was tripped out in that area that brought police into the area. They felt this guy had to be nearby. It was a federal border airplane that was using infrared technology that could see what they thought was a human in the woods laying underneath a brush.”

The federal border police dog named Yoda was sent into the woods and he’s the one who actually found Cavalcante. 

Barkdoll said, “He’s kind of the hero of the day. Yoda bit this guy in the head. Actually, it bit into his skull, causing an injury. The reporting is that Yoda, the dog, is the one that subdued this person while then the police finally detained him. The other thing I didn’t like yesterday, and I don’t know if we’re going to hear more about this. Look, I realize there’s a lot of adrenaline and energy by this group of law enforcement that are out there in the woods looking for this guy, but posing for the pictures then? They have this guy, the fugitive, in handcuffs on his knees in the parking lot and they’re all standing around him in their gear smiling for photographs, presumably for social media, or their local police departments. I just thought that also was out of bounds and I think it goes against what their training would be.”

Jansen agreed, “It’s completely unprofessional and you would think they would have learned from some of the photos that came out and some photos that the military have taken and put on social media. You would think there’d be strict rules about this within law enforcement. You do not do this kind of thing. I realize we’re in a ‘I want my two seconds of fame,’ on social media, how many posts and likes can I get that type of atmosphere, but not for law enforcement. It’s very unprofessional.”

“I didn’t like it at all,” Barkdoll said. “When you were watching the news, the news helicopters that were filming in real time while they’re putting this guy into a van to get him to the prison, everyone’s in this parking lot kind of milling around. If you look at all of the local officials, including the law enforcement people, they’re in their fatigues and their guns and their gear, you watch that helicopter footage, many of them are on their cell phones. It looks like they’re texting people. They’re letting everyone know what’s going on. I found it to be just tacky. I don’t know how else to say it. Unprofessional, I guess is the best way to say it.”

PA Representative Rob Kauffman said, “I’m very interested in the fact that they allowed the Border Patrol to come up to Pennsylvania to catch this criminal. What about down there at the southern border and letting them do their job? What they’re doing is they’re trying to change the narrative up here. The narrative should be how in the world do you get the worst of the worst criminals from South America in the heartland? That is the story and they’re trying to change that narrative.”

Jansen said, “There’s praise and honor to be given for what they accomplished in catching this guy. But then we also need to reflect on the failures that led to us being in this situation.” 

This year alone, people have escaped from jail five times. 

Ryan said, “That’s a huge problem. I don’t need another photo op. I don’t need all these law enforcement people around the murderer there. The whole thing looks really bad out of the Shapiro camp.”

Kauffman said, “If you want to actually look at it and be reflective, retrospective, you take back and you study what happened there. What happened at the other instances in Pennsylvania where someone has escaped recently? Is there a common theme? Are we treating people with lighter gloves than we used to as far as you know how they’re restrained and incarcerated? What is it? I also think we cannot miss what is happening here in the heartland where you have this guy from South America. He killed someone in South America, and then just strolled in the country. No one’s saying anything or maybe they did, but nobody was allowed to do something about it. You frankly, just don’t know because we just let them walk in the southern border and then this is what happens.”

Ryan said, “I think the governor looked like a fool on this one as well and went Pennsylvania’s best over a 13 day period. Here’s Pennsylvania at its best. You’re right. Law enforcement did their very best to try to figure out where this individual was. But how did we get here? I don’t know if I’d do that victory lap.”

Jansen asked, “Will the media call it out, which is their job? We will and that’s our job, too, and it’s our job to do it for both Republicans and Democrats. The problem here is we’ve brought Border Patrol agents up here to catch this guy, but they’re not allowed to catch this guy at the border. They’re not allowed to vet these people at the border. That poor woman, his ex-girlfriend, paid with her life because she did the vetting and found out he was a murderer. This is the presumption of why he stabbed her 38 times in front of her four-year-old and two-year-old. When the governor says oh, I want to replace the sweatshirt for the person he stole that from, did you offer to pay that family for the funeral of this woman? Did you offer to pay for all the psychiatric care those children are going to need probably for the rest of their lives, governor?”

“That’s at your party, Josh,” Ryan added. “That’s at your party.”

Kauffman said, “Obviously, you applaud the law enforcement who did their absolute best to apprehend this gentleman, but this looks like a professional criminal when you can elude authorities that long. This guy looks like they left their prisons open down in South America, which is what many have said is that we aren’t always getting the best and brightest that come across the border illegally. We’re often getting the folks from all these strange countries that actually aren’t even in South America. When they’re coming here, you don’t know what you’re getting. Very frankly, you’re likely getting folks trying to elude other things.”

Jansen asked, “I wonder if the State Police Lieutenant Colonel George Bivins, who was part of that yesterday, is he going to criticize the policies that put his men at risk, having to do this dirty job and dangerous job that shouldn’t have been theirs to do in the first place if the policy weren’t like they are?” 

Ryan wondered, “How much did this cost? That’s the other thing here. So Josh Shapiro is going and crowing that this is Pennsylvania’s best look. You got here because of incompetence and I’ll bet you anything the guard that they fired, the union’s going to come along and they’re going to sue for his job. You haven’t seen the last of that guy who was looking at cell phone, as I understand it, while crab walking was going up and running away.”

Jansen added, “Apparently another prisoner had sort of done something similar not that long ago, and they allow them to have smartphones as they’re guarding the prisoner.”Cavalcante was captured yesterday after 13 days on the run in PA, but what does all of this really say about our state?