A prisoner convicted of kidnapping and sexual assault stabbed one of two police escorts and escaped in the Dallas area as he was being transferred from Florida to Nevada, police said Tuesday.
A manhunt is under way for Alberto Morales, 42, who somehow obtained a sharp object and stabbed the officer once in the neck and three times in the back Monday night outside a store in Grapevine, city police Lt. Barry Bowling said.
The two Miami-Dade Police officers initially had been escorting Morales to Las Vegas by plane on Monday, but he became irritated and had a "behavior problem" on the flight that Bowling said he thought had originated in Miami. The officers rented a vehicle at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport with the intention of driving the nearly 1,200 miles to their destination, he said.
It wasn't clear why Morales was being transported to Nevada.
The officers stopped at a store in Grapevine, northwest of Dallas, and one went inside. This is when Morales, who was convicted in Florida of kidnapping, burglary and sexual assault charges, somehow obtained a sharp object and stabbed the second officer. He then fled the vehicle, possibly with his hands still shackled to his belt, Bowling said.
The wounded officer was in stable but critical condition and is scheduled for surgery Tuesday. His name hasn't been released.
Morales is 5-foot-7 and weighs 175 pounds, according to Florida corrections records. Bowling said the search for him is contained to Grapevine. The U.S. Marshals Service is assisting with the search.
No additional information was immediately available early Tuesday from Miami-Dade Police.