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Fla. Officer Stabbed During Inmate Transport in Texas

An inmate used his eyeglasses to stab a Miami-Dade, Fla., police officer repeatedly Monday night in the parking lot of a Grapevine Walmart before escaping, Grapevine police said.

As of Tuesday morning, a manhunt continued in North Texas for Alberto Morales, who was being transported to Nevada, police said.

Authorities consider the suspect to be dangerous.

A $10,000 reward has been issued for Morales' capture and arrest. He has been placed on the Texas Department of Public Safety's Most Wanted list.

Exterior doors are closed at schools in the Grapevine-Colleyville, Keller and Northwest school districts as authorities search for the escapee.

The Northwest ISD sent a message to parents and staff members at 12:20 p.m. about the lockdown, which was recommended by police and included all schools in the district east of Interstate 35, authorities said.

During an exterior lockdown, visitors are not allowed to enter or exit the building.

The district's message assured parents that students are not believed to be in any danger.

The "soft" lockdown in Keller will be lifted at the end of the school day, Keller school officials said.

Tuesday afternoon, Grapevine police reported that authorities were searching for a "vehicle of interest" in the case. A white Ford SUV was stolen from the parking lot of the Super 8 Motel at 4470 Texas 114 in Irving overnight, near the area where Morales escaped. A handgun also was in the SUV.

Authorities said that investigators had no information that Morales stole the vehicle.

Miami-Dade detectives Jamie Pardinas and David Carrero had stopped at the Walmart when one officer went inside the store for supplies, leaving the other officer in the car with Morales.

At some point, Morales stabbed Pardinas, Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson said Tuesday morning. Morales then fled.

Authorities believe he is still wearing his shackles.

The injured detective was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas in critical condition, but authorities have said that he is expected to recover. The officer's family is on its way to Texas.

Morales had been held in Miami on assault, kidnapping, burglary and sexual assault charges. Morales also faces sexual battery charges in Nevada.

The Miami-Dade officers were accompanying Morales on a flight with a layover Monday night at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Grapevine police said. After Morales became disruptive, the officers rented a car to continue on to Las Vegas.

Patterson said Morales was bumping his head against other passengers' seats and was not allowed to get back on the plane after the layover. The decision to continue by car was backed by the police department, according to Patterson.

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

Patterson said that the transfer to Nevada was within guidelines and coordinated, including the presence of two police officers.

Morales was wearing a belly band with his hands shackled to it at the time of his escape.

Before leaving Grapevine, the detectives stopped at the Walmart.

"The officers apparently stopped to get some road supplies," said Grapevine police Sgt. Robert Eberling on Tuesday.

The officers stopped at the Walmart in the 1600 block of Texas 114.

Eberling said that Morales did not escape with the officer's weapon.

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

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

Area police along with U.S. marshals are involved in the search.

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

This report includes information from the Miami Herald.

Copyright 2013 - Fort Worth Star-Telegram

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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