For the last two weeks, there has been a massive manhunt in Pennsylvania for Danelo Cavalcante, a convicted murderer who on August 31st escaped from Chester County Prison, where he was awaiting transfer to a state prison in order to serve out his life sentence without parole for the killing of his ex-girlfriend.
The search involved multiple local, state, and federal agencies that tracked Cavalcante’s movements and followed up on reports of sightings, including one where Cavalcante allegedly stole a rifle:
The search for Cavalcante involves Pennsylvania State Police, U.S. Marshals, FBI, ATF, Border Patrol, and Chester County law enforcement. Additional assets include K9s, aviation units, and other tactical vehicles. State Police tell abc27 there are Troopers from across the state assisting, and WJET reports that members from Erie are among those joining the effort.
On Wednesday morning, the Pennsylvania State Police had good news to report: Cavalcante had been captured:
Lt. Col. George Bivens, deputy commissioner of operations for the Pennsylvania State Police, said a federal Drug Enforcement Administration aircraft using thermal imaging technology picked up a heat source in the area of South Coventry Township just after midnight, but a lightning storm forced the aircraft to land.
Bivens said officers quickly surrounded the area and maintained a perimeter until Wednesday morning when they moved in. Bivens said Cavalcante didn’t realize he was cornered until he saw the officers coming toward him.
He said Cavalcante did not surrender immediately. He said the fugitive tried to get away by crawling through thick brush while armed with a .22-caliber rifle he stole from a nearby residence Wednesday night.
But while it was good news to find out that Cavalcante was now back off the streets again, some took to social media to complain about what has been described as a photo op from some of the law enforcement personnel, seen taking a photo with the handcuffed former fugitive from justice in this video clip:
Naturally, the media pounced and seized on the video and the complaints that followed, so much so that Lt. Col. Bivens was asked about it during the morning briefing, with a reporter wondering if it was “standard procedure” to take those kinds of pictures and to explain “the reasoning” behind it.
Bivens did not hesitate to defend the work of all involved in the capture and in effect basically said he didn’t blame them:
“I’m aware that there was a photo op that was taken out there. Those men and women work amazingly hard through some very trying circumstances. They’re proud of their work. I’m not bothered at all by the fact that they took of photograph with him in custody. Again, they’re proud of their work. They kept the community safe. I say thanks to them and good job.”
PSP Lt. Col. George Bivens to journalist asking whether it's a bad look for law enforcement to have a "photo op taken with" a captured and defeated #DaneloCavalcante:— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) September 13, 2023
"Those men and women worked amazingly hard through some very trying circumstances. They are proud of their work.… pic.twitter.com/37OBgmGeS1
Reporter said people have complained about the photo op after the Danelo Cavalcante capture… Lt. Col. Bivens response: “I’m not bothered by it at all… I say thanks to them and good job.” 👏 pic.twitter.com/bqOVEDzYMD— Dan Andros (@DanAndros) September 13, 2023
It’s always so refreshing to see law enforcement leaders categorically reject left-wing media/social media-driven narratives about LEOs and violent criminals, isn’t it?