Authorities are offering a $10,000 reward for the capture of a fugitive who stabbed a Miami-Dade officer who was escorting him to Nevada, as the search for the suspect in Texas entered its second day.
Alberto Morales was being transported by Officers Jaime Pardinas and David Carrero from Miami to Las Vegas for a court appearance when the stabbing happened at a Walmart in Grapevine, Texas, late Monday night, authorities said.
Miami-Dade Police Sgt. Patricia Bimonte warned members of the public not to approach Morales if they see him, but instead to call police and 911.
“The Miami-Dade Police Department is not going to leave Dallas," she said at a news conference outside Parkland Hospital in Dallas on Wednesday afternoon. "We will find this guy, and we will bring him to justice. I can promise you that."
Bimonte said about eight to 10 Miami-Dade officers would be on the scene by the end of the day as the manhunt for Morales continues. U.S. marshals and law enforcement from several agencies in the Dallas area are also taking part.
“We need to find this guy. I can’t imagine that he has been able to get out of here," Bimonte said. "He’s in a pair of shorts, he’s in a T-shirt, he’s got one shoe – I mean, it’s going to be hard to get out of here. There’s a lot of eyes out here. There’s a lot of officers looking for him."
Carrero was inside the Walmart when Morales used his broken glasses to stab Pardinas in the chest and back in the store's parking lot, police said.
He was also stabbed in the neck and had a collapsed lung, Bimonte said.
The 42-year-old Morales, who was handcuffed, fled the scene. Pardinas was rushed to a nearby hospital. He remained in serious but stable condition, Bimonte said Wednesday.
Police said the three had flown from Miami to Houston but were forced to rent a car for the second leg of the trip after Morales became unruly on the flight.
Morales is a violent offender with arrests for sexual battery, burglary and kidnapping, and is considered extremely dangerous, police said.
At a news conference Wednesday morning, Grapevine Police said they received numerous tips Tuesday and overnight but so far had no viable leads.
Police said they were still searching the immediate area and none of the shackles or clothing Morales was wearing had been recovered.
Bimonte said Pardinas' family wanted to thank authorities, residents and hospital staff around Dallas for their help.
“They’re holding up. They were very happy to see Officer Pardinas this morning, talking to them and in good spirits," she said. "They’re hanging in there.”
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