Escapee vowed he would never return to prison

Posted Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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GRAPEVINE -- Convicted sex offender and escapee Alberto Morales vowed to fellow inmates that he would never return to prison if he ever got free, Grapevine police said Wednesday.

Morales, who is accused of stabbing a Florida detective Monday in a Grapevine parking lot, remained on the run Wednesday.

The Florida detective was transporting Morales to Las Vegas, Nev., when he was stabbed with a pair of eyeglasses. The detective, Jaime Pardinas, 54, remained at a Dallas hospital on Wednesday. Pardinas has been on the Miami police force for 28 years.

At a news conference Wednesday morning, Grapevine police Sgt. Robert Eberling said authorities had no good leads and warned North Texas residents to be on high alert for Morales.

"We are very concerned that he has not been found," Eberling said. "He's a dangerous individual."

Morales is listed in the Texas Department of Public Safety Top Ten most wanted list. A $10,000 reward is in place for any information that leads to his capture.

At least one area school district, Grapevine-Colleyville, was keeping exterior doors locked at its schools and other buildings.

More federal officials arrived to help in the search and authorities are closely watching the Mexican border for Morales.

Eberling said that authorities were continuing to check drainage ditches, backyards, abandoned buildings and vacant homes.

On Tuesday, Grapevine police said they were looking for a "vehicle of interest" -- a white 2008 Ford Explorer reported stolen from the parking lot of the Super 8 Motel at 4470 Texas 114 in Irving, near where Morales escaped.

A handgun also was in the SUV, police said.

That vehicle, however, was recovered late Tuesday evening by Dallas police, Eberling said.

"Morales wasn't in it," he said. "They arrested someone else, but it was completely unrelated to our fugitive."

The assault happened about 11:20 p.m. Monday, shortly after Pardinas and fellow Miami-Dade Detective David Carrero stopped at the Wal-Mart in the 1600 block of Texas 114 in Grapevine.

Pardinas and Carrero were scheduled to fly with Morales to Nevada, where he was to serve 30 years to life for sexual assault with a weapon. But the officers and Morales weren't allowed to get back on the plane during a layover in Houston because of the inmate's "crazy" behavior, authorities said.

Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson said Morales was bumping his head into other passengers' seats and was not allowed to get back on the plane after the layover. The decision to drive nearly 1,200 miles to their destination was backed by the Miami-Date Police Department, Patterson said.

"He was doing a lot of crazy, unusual things that disrupted the flight," Patterson said.

Miami-Dade Police Deputy Director Juan Perez said that it is out of the ordinary but that airlines occasionally ask officers and their inmates to leave because of liability issues.

While in North Texas, Pardinas and Carrero planned to meet a third Miami-Dade detective who was coming to help with the driving. At the Wal-Mart, Carrero went inside to use the restroom. Pardinas stayed in the car with Morales.

While Carrero was away, Morales stabbed Pardinas and fled, Patterson said.

Authorities believe that he is still wearing shackles.

"We haven't found his clothes or shackles," Eberling said Wednesday.

Morales was wearing a belly band with his hands shackled to it.

"He was handcuffed. We don't know how he got the handcuffs free," Patterson said.

Longtime Las Vegas defense attorney Marc Saggese, who represented Morales in a Nevada criminal case, said his client claimed that he suffered a severe brain injury when he was hit in the head with a baseball bat at age 17. Morales said he heard voices and had trouble controlling impulses.

"He said that ever since that attack and subsequent surgeries he has struggling demons in his head," Saggese said.

While in a jail medical ward, Morales mutilated his genitals and wrote in blood on the wall. He underwent a psychological examination but was found competent to stand trial.

Morales pleaded guilty in 2008 to sexually assaulting a woman at an apartment blocks away from the Las Vegas Strip in 2003. After his conviction in Las Vegas, Morales was sent to Florida to face prior charges, Las Vegas police Officer Laura Meltzer said.

In Miami, Morales was sentenced to 10 years in prison in December after pleading guilty to sexual battery with a deadly weapon, burglary with assault and kidnapping stemming from a 2003 crime.

Morales is described as being about 5-feet-7 and 175 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair.

He has a tattoo of a Native American on a horse on his left shoulder and upper left arm. Scars are on his left hand, left arm, and nose. He has discolored spots on his face around his right eye and on his forehead.

He was wearing dark shorts, a white hooded jacket and one tennis shoe.

Morales now faces four Texas charges: attempted capital murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault on a police officer and escape.

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1600 block of Texas 114, Grapevine, TX
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