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Termination of Pennsylvania Prison Guard Who Was on Duty During Convicted Murderer’s Escape

The recent escape of a convicted murderer from a Pennsylvania prison has sent shockwaves through the community and raised serious questions about prison security. In this article, we will delve into the details of the incident, explore the consequences for the prison guard involved, and discuss the measures taken to prevent future escapes.

The Escape

On August 31, 34-year-old Danelo Cavalcante made a daring escape from Chester County Prison in Pocopson Township, Pennsylvania. The audacity of this escape left many stunned, as Cavalcante managed to evade authorities for over a week.

Surveillance Video Reveals the Escape

Surveillance footage unveiled a shocking method used by Cavalcante to flee captivity. He stretched himself across the brick and cinderblock walls in the prison’s exercise yard, gradually pushing himself onto the roof. It was a move that seemed almost cinematic in its execution.

A Troubling Pattern

Cavalcante’s escape was not the first of its kind at Chester County Prison. Earlier in the year, another inmate, Igor Bolte, briefly escaped using a similar approach, only to be captured minutes later in a residential neighborhood nearby.

Security Measures Falling Short

Acting warden Howard Holland detailed the security measures in place following Bolte’s escape. Razor wire had been installed on the roof, which was considered sufficient by security advisors. However, these precautions failed to deter Cavalcante. He scaled the exercise yard wall and reached the roof without being detected by tower officers or surveillance cameras.

Accountability and Consequences

The Dismissed Guard

One major development in the aftermath of the escape was the firing of an 18-year veteran prison guard who was on duty during Cavalcante’s escape. The guard’s identity was not publicly disclosed, but the reasons behind the termination were clear. The guard had violated prison policy by having a cell phone in the tower, compromising security.

Administrative Leave for Tower Officer

Additionally, a tower officer who was on duty during the escape was placed on administrative leave. It remains unclear whether this officer was the same one who was subsequently fired. Investigations into the incident are ongoing, with the focus on identifying any lapses in prison protocol.

The Delayed Response

The timeline of events on the day of the escape raised eyebrows. It took a staggering 10 minutes for prison guards to realize that Cavalcante was missing after they returned to their cells from the exercise yard. Even more concerning was the fact that it was an additional 16 minutes before the public escape siren sounded.

The Search for Cavalcante

As of the time of writing this article, Cavalcante remains at large, and the search for him continues. Authorities suspect he is within the perimeter of Routes 926 and 52, Hillendale Road, and Creek Road. He has been sighted eight times, but has managed to evade capture.

Reward for Information

In a bid to expedite Cavalcante’s capture, a reward of up to $20,000 is being offered for any information that leads to his apprehension. The severity of his crime, first-degree murder, and his life sentence without the possibility of parole make his capture a top priority for law enforcement.

Photo courtesy: BBC News

The escape of Danelo Cavalcante from Chester County Prison has exposed glaring shortcomings in prison security and procedures. It has also resulted in the dismissal of a long-serving prison guard and raised questions about the effectiveness of existing security measures. As the search for Cavalcante continues, the incident serves as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by the criminal justice system in ensuring the safety of both inmates and the public. It remains to be seen how this incident will influence future prison security protocols and personnel accountability.


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