Prisoner stabs Miami-Dade police officer in Texas
MIAMI (WSVN) -- The search is on in Texas for an inmate who allegedly stabbed a Miami-Dade police officer four times.
That prisoner was being extradited to another state Monday night by two Miami-Dade Police in a rental. During a pit stop the inmate, 42-year-old Alberto Morales, who faces charges involving violent crimes including rape, he escaped custody after stabbing 54-year-old Miami-Dade police officer Jaime Pardinas several times with part of his own eyeglasses. "I believe he somehow got out of the car. I'm not sure when or where, but he ran off," said Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson during a press conference Tuesday morning.
Tuesday afternoon, police were still looking for Morales. Late in the afternoon, Grapevine Police, who are the immediate investigating agency, reported that they believe Morales may have stolen a 2008 white Ford sport utility vehicle with Texas plates 19ZJW8, from a nearby Irving motel. They are referring to it as a "vehicle of interest." There was a handgun inside, police said.
Pardinas, a 28-year veteran, underwent surgery Tuesday morning. Family and MDPD supervisors are flying over to be with him.
As for the fugitive, Morales had faced nine charges for raping two Little Havana women, a 39-year-old and a 61-year-old, at knife-point in 2003. He was not apprehended until 2008 in Nevada after allegedly committing crimes in that state. Morales was brought back to South Florida and sentenced in December of 2012 to 10 years for that 2003 crime.
Authorities said Pardinas and his partner, Davis Carrero, were transporting Morales by plane Monday night from Miami to Las Vegas for a court appearance to face a rape charge for crimes he committed there. They had a connecting flight at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, but prior to landing, investigators said Morales had been behaving erratically and was disruptive on the plane.
Police said he became angry and started bashing his head on the back of the chair of the passenger in front of him. "After landing, we were told in Houston that we could not board the plane with this gentleman anymore," said Patterson, "so the officers made an effort to get a rental car and actually drive Morales there by car."
At around 11 p.m. Monday, authorities said, detectives Pardinas and Carrero stopped at a nearby Walmart in Grapevine, Texas. Officer Carrero went inside to get something while Officer Pardinas stayed with the prisoner. "At that point, the subject was able to get some sort of object and was able to stab the other officer multiple times, once through the chest and three times in the back," said Grapevine Police Lieutenant Barry Bowling.
Grapevine police have confirmed that the sharp object was a part from Morales' glasses. Investigators said Morales broke his glasses into pieces and used it to stab the officer.
Morales fled on foot from the Walmart parking lot at State Highway 114 in an unknown direction. "He was handcuffed," noted Patterson. "We don't know how he got the handcuffs free."
Pardinas remains at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, where he is listed in serious but stable condition, according to Patterson. He underwent surgery and is expected to be OK.
A manhunt involving multiple agencies is now underway for Morales. "He attempted to take the life of a law enforcement officer trying to perform his duties," said Patterson. "He escaped. He did a number of things, so all those charges will be filed, I'm sure appropriately."
Morales stands 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighs about 175 pounds and was last seen wearing a blue shirt and gray shorts. It is believed Morales was wearing a belly band with his hands shackled to it when he escaped. He may still be wearing them. "As far as we know, he may still be in shackles," Patterson said.
Police said these extraditions happen all the time. The rental of a car was done according to protocol, after the officers were removed from the plane due to the inmate's behavior.
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