Catching the escaped prisoner from Chester County is harder than it looks, a former police sergeant says

  • The escaped Pennsylvania prison inmate "knows what he's doing," a former NYPD sergeant told Insider.

  • He said police can't be blamed that convicted killer Danelo Cavalcante remains on-the-run.

  • The Pennslyvania terrain where police are searching for Cavalcanter is "very difficult."

People shouldn't blame law enforcement involved in the manhunt for the escaped Pennsylvania prison inmate because police are dealing with tough terrain and a fugitive who "knows what he's doing," a former New York Police Department sergeant told Insider.

"This is like hide-and-go-seek, but at a massive level," Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD sergeant and adjunct professor at New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said.

Danelo Cavalcante, a 34-year-old convicted killer who is also wanted in connection to a homicide in his native Brazil, escaped Chester County Prison nearly two weeks ago by crab-walking up a wall and climbing over a razor wire.

Since his August 31 escape, Cavalcante has managed to evade the hundreds of police officers actively searching for him across a heavily wooded, miles-long perimeter in northern Chester County despite being spotted more than a dozen times and even shot at by a local homeowner.

"The terrain is very difficult," Giacalone said. "There's plenty of places to hide, whether it's the densely populated woods, the cornfields, the barns," as well as culverts and creeks.

The retired New York City cop and former commanding officer of the NYPD's Bronx Cold Case Squad added, "You can't blame the cops — they're pulling out all the stops."

Giacalone called Cavalcante "desperate" and said the fugitive "knows how to survive in these kinds of conditions" and likely has "survival skills."

Escaped Pennsylvania inmate Danelo Cavalcante spotted on trail camera surveillance footage.
Escaped Pennsylvania inmate Danelo Cavalcante spotted on trail camera surveillance footage.Pennsylvania State Police

"But they're going to find him," Giacalone said. "It's just a matter of time."

Pennsylvania police said on Tuesday that Cavalcante is now considered "armed and extremely dangerous" after they say he ran into a homeowner's garage shirtless on Monday night, stole a .22-caliber rifle complete with a scope, and ran as the owner opened fire on him with a pistol.

"He's killed two people previously. I would suspect that he's desperate enough to use that weapon," Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said of Cavalcante during a press conference.

Authorities do not believe that Cavalcante was injured as a result of the incident, and they warned residents to continue to lock their doors, windows, and vehicles and immediately call 911 if they see the escaped inmate.

Meanwhile, Bivens commended law enforcement involved in the manhunt for doing an "amazing job" in tracking Cavalcante's whereabouts.

"Nothing has gone wrong," Bivens insisted. "Our agencies are all working very well together, and I believe we will be successful in the long run."

Giacalone told Insider that manhunts "generally don't end well" for the person being sought.

The 20-year NYPD veteran predicted authorities would either "get him, kill him, or he's going to kill himself."

Read the original article on Insider