A Miami man escaped police custody in Grapevine last night, in the midst of a strange journey from Miami to Houston to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, with a final — and yet-to-be-reached — destination of Las Vegas.
Alberto Morales allegedly stabbed a Miami-Dade County officer in a Walmart parking lot in Grapevine, fleeing while another officer was in the store. He was being transported from Miami to Las Vegas for a court hearing. From a news conference held by Miami police this morning, according to the Morning News:
…it’s still unclear how Alberto Morales escaped two of his officers at a Grapevine Wal-Mart last night. He also identified the officer currently recovering from multiple stab wounds at Parkland Memorial Hospital: Jaime Pardinas, a 28-year veteran of the Miami-Dade police force. His family is currently en route to Dallas, where the officer is in serious but stable condition following last night’s stabbing.
According to Patterson, Pardinas and his partner David Carrero, a seven-year veteran, are part of the department’s extradition unit, which was tasked with transporting Morales from Miami to Houston to Las Vegas, where he was due to be incarcerated following a sexual battery conviction in Nevada. But they never made it: According to Patterson, the prisoner became “very agitated and … erratic” during the plane ride from Florida.
“He began bumping his head against a passenger’s seat,” Patterson said, “crazy, unusual things that disrupted a lot of the flight.”
The plane landed in Houston, where airline officials refused to allow Morales back on the plane. The officers decided to drive to DFW to meet another officer, then continue on to Las Vegas, driving the rest of the way. Morales allegedly stabbed the officer with a broken pair of eyeglasses.
Grapevine schools are on heightened alert, and anyone who spots Morales is encouraged to call 911.