Escaped prisoner described as 'a schizophrenic'
- Article by: DANNY ROBBINS
- Associated Press
- February 13, 2013 - 8:18 PM
GRAPEVINE, Texas - The Florida prisoner who stabbed a detective and escaped near Dallas while being transported to Nevada is "a schizophrenic" who vowed not to return to prison, according to authorities and a 911 call released Wednesday.
Alberto Morales, 42, escaped Monday after using a piece from his eyeglasses to stab Miami-Dade Detective Jaime Pardinas, one of two officers transferring the prisoner by car to Nevada. The escape happened while they were stopped in a Wal-Mart store parking lot in Grapevine, a community near the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Grapevine police spokesman Robert Eberling said authorities continue to search near the airport and will do so until they believe they should look elsewhere. He said the search covers "any place anybody can hide," including yards and drainage ditches.
Eberling said inmates who knew Morales in prison have told investigators that he had vowed not to return.
"He's made it pretty clear that he's not going back to prison," Eberling said.
On a recording of a 911 call released Wednesday, Pardinas can be heard breathing heavily as he tells the operator that he's been stabbed. He described Morales' height, weight and appearance and then added, "He's a schizophrenic."
On another 911 call, a bystander told the operator: "There's a guy with a gun and somebody on the floor bleeding." The caller than clarified that "the guy with the gun is helping the guy that's bleeding."
Pardinas was accompanied by Miami-Dade Detective David Carrero during the transfer. They flew to Houston with Morales and then decided to drive the rest of the way after he became disruptive on the flight. They had stopped near the store while waiting for a third officer who was flying to the Dallas area to join them. Department policy requires three officers to be present for ground transfers of prisoners.
Pardinas, 54, remained hospitalized Wednesday after undergoing surgery for deep stab wounds to the neck, shoulder and back and a collapsed lung, said Miami-Dade police Sgt. Patricia Bimonte.
At a news conference outside the hospital in Dallas, Bimonte said Morales used a broken or sharpened piece from a pair of eyeglasses to stab Pardinas. The detective was in serious but stable condition Wednesday and it was unclear when he would be released, Bimonte said.
The sergeant warned the public that Morales has a history of crimes with a deadly weapon. "He has a horrible, horrible past," she said. "He's not going to hesitate to hurt somebody else."
Bimonte said she believed Morales was still in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and could not go far because he was wearing shackles, shorts and only one shoe.
"I can't believe that he's been able to get out of here," she said.
Eight to 10 Miami-Dade officers were expected to join Texas authorities and federal marshals in the manhunt, she said, and Morales could face charges of escape and attempted murder of a peace officer.
Bimonte said she could not address whether any security lapses might have been factors in the escape. Morales was able to escape even though he was shackled "appropriately," wearing handcuffs and a chain to prevent him from moving his arms, Eberling said.
Pardinas and Carrero were taking Morales to Nevada to serve a sentence of 30 years to life for a conviction of sexual assault with a weapon.
Police initially thought Morales might be in a vehicle stolen Tuesday morning at a motel near the airport, but Eberling said Wednesday that was not the case. He said the vehicle has been recovered in Dallas and is not believed to be connected to the incident.
Associated Press writer David Warren contributed to this report.
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