GRAPEVINE (CBSDFW.COM) – Grapevine police have released some of the calls made in the moments after an inmate, who was with Miami authorities as they traveled through North Texas, stabbed a detective and escaped. One call was actually placed by the injured officer.
Apparently the Miami-Dade detective had reached emergency service in another city and the call was transferred to Grapevine.
Caller: “I have a caller on the line, detective with Miami-Dade. He states that he was on a prisoner transport and has been stabbed.”
Dispatcher: Where are you?
Caller: “It appears that he’s in the Wal-Mart parking lot off of Industrial.”
Caller: “Sir, are you in a marked unit?”
Dispatcher: What kind of vehicle are you in?
Officer: In a gray SUV. [inaudible]
Dispatcher: Where’s the guy who stabbed you?
Officer: He ran.
Dispatcher: Which way did he go?
Officer: [breathing heavy] I can’t tell you.
Dispatcher: Where were you stabbed at?
Officer: I’ve been stabbed in the neck.
Officer: “Subject is 5’7, 165 pound, white Latin male, named Alberto Morales.
Dispatcher: Alberto Morales?
Officer: He’s a schizophrenic.
State and federal officials have joined the Grapevine Police Department in the manhunt for Alberto Morales. The 42-year-old is accused of using his eyeglasses to stab Detective Jamie Pardinas, 54, in the back and neck. The incident happened in the parking lot of a Grapevine Wal-Mart on Monday night.
During a press conference Wednesday morning Grapevine police said the bold nature of the attack, and statements Morales told other inmates, that he did not intend to spend the rest of his life in prison, hint the escape may have been planned. “He spent the better part of the last 10 years in prison and he’s, so to speak, received somewhat of a prison education on his ability to get away from law enforcement and his ability to try to get out of restraints,” Sergeant Robert Eberling said. “Unfortunately, those inmates that are in prison they sometimes practice and train for situation like this. So it could be possible he’s gotten out of his shackles.”
In addition to Grapevine and surrounding North Texas cities, Eberling said officials have also covered their bases if Morales heads toward Mexico. “All of the border crossings are covered. They are aware of Mr. Morales, they have his picture and all of his information. We’re mainly working with the U.S. Marshals fugitive task force and they’re assisting us.”
Tuesday Grapevine police also released surveillance video from the Wal-Mart parking lot. The SUV that Miami-Dade officers rented is in the upper right-hand corner. Both Miami detectives are seen getting in and out of the vehicle at various times and then, with only Detective Jamie Pardinas in the vehicle, there’s a struggle. Suspect Morales is seen running past the back of the vehicle and then Detective Pardinas stumbles toward the store entrance, his shirt covered in blood.
The problems with transporting Morales began on a flight into Houston. It was then Morales allegedly began to act disruptively – banging his head against the airplane seat. He was not allowed to continue on the next flight to Las Vegas. Pardinas and fellow Miami-Dade Detective David Carrero rented an SUV and started driving to Nevada, about 1,400 miles away, passing through North Texas.
The officers and Morales stopped at the Wal-Mart, located at State Highway 114 and Ira E. Woods Avenue, to wait for a third officer, who was flying into DFW, to continue the trip to Las Vegas. Three officers are required when transporting a prisoner by car. Morales took his opportunity to strike when one of the officers went to the bathroom. “He was wearing glasses at the time of the incident,” Sgt. Eberling explained. “He used his own glasses to actually…. he broke those glasses in order to stab the other detective.” Police said Morales left the glasses in the SUV and they are now in police evidence.
As far as other evidence or leads that could help in locating Morales, authorities say there is little to go on. “We received numerous tips throughout the day yesterday and we received tips throughout the night. As it stands right now none of those tips have any viable leads for us to follow up on.”
Grapevine police said they believe Morales is still in the immediate area and that officers have not recovered any clothing, or the shackles being used to restrain him.
Detective Jamie Pardinas remains hospitalized, but is expected to recover. At a Wednesday afternoon press conference, Sgt. Patricia Bimonte of the Miami-Dade Police Department said he was stabbed very deeply in several areas and suffered a collapsed lung. From the depth of the stab wounds, it appears that the eyeglasses had been sharpened like a shank. Miami-Dade already has two officers on the ground in the Dallas area helping with the search and another 6-8 officers are on the way. She stressed that she believes Morales is still in the area.
“I can’t imagine that he was able to get out of here,” she said. “He is wearing a T-shirt, shorts and one shoe.”
She also stressed that Morales is a dangerous individual and would likely hurt someone else to prevent going back to prison.
“He has a horrible horrible past, he is not going to hesitate to hurt somebody else.”
Investigators say they are looking anyplace where someone could hide, including drainage ditches and residential backyards. Given Morales’ conversations with past cellmates Sgt. Eberling said it is even more important that North Texans stay aware of their surroundings and stay vigilant. “He’s made comments in the past that he does not want to stay in prison and doesn’t have any intentions to go back to prison, so that makes him even more of a potential danger to any individual that comes in contact with him.”
Several school districts in the area went on soft lockdowns yesterday, with exterior doors locked and are taking the same precautions today. Administrators with the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District said police have also increased patrols around schools.
On Tuesday, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) added Morales to the Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitive list. The state is now offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. There are four different ways to provide anonymous tips:
• Call the Crime Stoppers hotline at (800) 252-TIPS (8477)
• Text the letters DPS and then your tip to 274637 (CRIMES) from your cell phone
• Submit a web tip through the DPS website by selecting the fugitive you have information about, and then clicking the link under the picture
• Tips can also be submitted on Facebook, just click the “SUBMIT A TIP” link underneath the “About” section
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