MIAMI, Fla. — A manhunt is under way for a prisoner convicted of violent sexual assaults who stabbed one of two police escorts and escaped in the Dallas area as he was being transferred from Florida to Nevada, police said Tuesday.
Alberto Morales, 42, stabbed the officer once in the neck and three times in the back Monday night outside a Walmart in Grapevine, police said. Grapevine Police Sgt. Robert Eberling said Morales is believed to have used his eyeglasses in the assault.
Miami-Dade Police Detective Jaime Pardinas, a 54-year-old who has been on the force for 28 years, is in serious but stable condition.
Pardinas and Detective David Carrero were scheduled to fly with Morales to Nevada, where he was to serve a sentence of 30 years to life for a conviction of sexual assault with a weapon. But the officers and Morales weren't allowed to get back on the plane during a layover in Houston because of the inmate's erratic behavior, authorities said.
During the first leg of the flight, Morales was "bumping his head against a passenger seat in front of him, so he was doing a lot of crazy, unusual things that just disrupted the entire flight," said Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson Jr.
Miami-Dade Police Deputy Director Juan Perez said that it is out of the ordinary, but that airlines occasionally ask officers and their escorted inmates to leave because of liability issues.
The detectives then rented a vehicle and drove to the Dallas area, where they were to meet up with a third officer flying in to join them for the nearly 1,200-mile ride to their Nevada destination. Miami police said there are clear policies about transporting inmates across state lines, but didn't discuss details other than to say three officers must be present for ground transport.