On Escapes

Alan Cai

September 8, 2023

SWAT team. Dogs. Searchlights. Danelo Souza Cavalcante, an “extremely dangerous” man who was recently convicted of murdering his girlfriend, escaped prison in the great state of Pennsylvania. A manhunt of over 400 personnel is scouring the area for traces of the missing killer.

Cavalcante is facing criminal charges in Brazil and authorities believe he killed his girlfriend in an attempt to prevent her from reporting him. The escaped inmate was spotted multiple times in the surrounding neighborhood as the search converged on the area near Longwood Gardens, a large botanical garden in the vicinity of the prison.

Video footage of the escape was released by investigators on Wednesday showing Cavalcante scaling two parallel walls simultaneously with his hands and feet to the rooftop before escaping. A similar escape was executed at the prison previously which resulted in a barbed wire presence on the rooftop. Cavalcante appeared to have slipped through the barbed wire.

The watch tower prison guard on duty during the escape, reportedly an 18 year veteran, has been placed on administrative leave for the incident.

Across the Atlantic, the prison escape of suspected terrorist Daniel Abed Khalife continues to grip the United Kingdom. Khalife escaped his prison facility by clinging on to the underside of a food delivery truck. He is reported to be a former British soldier.

The two prison escapees, along with a homicide suspect who escaped from a hospital in Washington DC, have seemingly taken the world by storm. Prison escapes are, in fact, not uncommon around the globe, occurring, on average, multiple times a day according to multiple estimates. However, the uniqueness that sets these stories apart stems not only from their potential to threaten the safety of local communities but also from the changing political landscape.

After the indictments facing former President Donald Trump and his subsequent mugshot, the public has shown renewed interest in prisons and their safety. Stories of three near-concurrent prison escapes and heightened security inadvertently triggered the buzz and sensation around the issue once more.

It is important to note that local civilian cooperation is key to ending prison escape cases such as these. Although local residents are encouraged not to engage with any suspicious individuals, tips regarding information that could lead to the recapture of inmates are extremely valued and may be rewarded. For instance, investigators for Cavalcante’s case are offering a reward of up to $20,000.

In dangerous times like these, it is essential for citizens to stay alert and keep themselves and their families safe.