The Miami-Dade Police officer who was stabbed by an escaped prisoner while transporting him through Texas spoke publicly about the incident for the first time Thursday, and said he's ready to go back to work.
"I feel good," Officer Jaime Pardinas told reporters at a news conference Thursday. "Leak every now and then but they plug me up and I keep going."
Pardinas, 54, returned to Miami Wednesday after spending a week in a Dallas Hospital. He looked energetic and said he's just waiting for his boss to give him the green light to go back on the job.
The 28-year veteran officer is still not fully recovered from three stab wounds to his back and one to his neck he received on Feb. 11.
"They're mostly puncture wounds, he tried getting to my eyes but all the training over 28 years kicked in, I was able to fend him off," Pardinas said.
Pardinas and another officer were transporting a violent criminal, Alberto Morales, from Miami to Las Vegas. Morales created a disturbance on the first flight to Houston, apparently intentionally. He was taken off plane and the officers were then forced to resume their trip by car.
They were in a small town near Dallas, at a WalMart parking lot, when Morales somehow got loose and attacked Pardinas with a home-made weapon made from a pair of eyeglasses.
"I didn't know he had a weapon," Pardinas explained at the news conference. "For me it was, 'I'm not going down, I'm not going down,' and that's what we're trained to do, we're trained to survive."
Pardinas would not discuss details of the incident. The department says the entire incident is under review to see what went wrong and how to prevent similar events from happening in the future.
The veteran cop said once he recovered enough to go out, he left the hospital in Dallas and went to the scene at which police found and killed Morales.
"I needed that closure, I needed to know where he was, I needed to be able to touch something," he said. "As an investigator I needed to see all the different angles, I wanted to smell all the different smells, I wanted to know what the logistics were of getting there, I wanted to be part, even laying in that hospital bed, I wanted to be part of this investigation."