GRAPEVINE, Texas -- A dangerous fugitive being flown across the country escaped and is believed to be in North Texas.
Officials say Alberto Morales, 41, is a violent felon who was flying from Miami, Florida to Las Vegas, Nevada, but was not allowed on a connecting flight in Houston because he was being disruptive.
Two officers took him in a car to meet a third lawman in Dallas, and then all were going to drive to Vegas.
One the way, they stopped at a Wal-Mart in Grapevine Monday evening. That s when Morales stabbed one of the officers with a part of his sunglasses. He escaped the scene.
Police are now looking for a SUV that was stolen a few miles away.
Officials believe Morales is in North Texas.
The Texas Department of Public Safety has issued a Blue Alert, which are only used when authorities need to catch a suspect who poses a particular danger to law enforcement officers. In the announcement, DPS specified that the stolen SUV is a 2008 white Ford Explorer.
Law enforcement officials believe this vehicle to be associated with the serious injury of a law enforcement officer, involving a serious risk or threat to the public and other law enforcement personnel, the release says.
Grapevine police spokesman Sgt. Robert Eberling says the stolen vehicle is merely of interest there's still no solid proof linking it to Morales.
It was the only vehicle stolen in the area, Eberling said. We certainly don't want to overlook it and we want to get that vehicle stopped as soon as we can.
The officer who was stabbed is a 28-year police veteran. He underwent surgery and is listed in serious condition at a Parkland Memorial Hospital.
Eberling said Morales now faces an additional four charges, including attempted capital murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault on a police officer and escape from custody. A $1 million bond was set for each charge.
While Eberling said the detective's weapon was not taken during the incident, the violent sex offender is considered armed and dangerous.
Morales has a tattoo on his left upper arm of an American Indian on a horse. The Texas Department of Public Safety has also issued a $10,000 reward for any information leading to his arrest and prosecution.
Neighboring police departments, the U.S. Marshals Services and the Texas Department of Public Safety have joined the Grapevine Police Department in their search for Morales.
There are four different ways to provide anonymous tips:
- Call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477).
- Text the letters DPS followed by your tip to 274637 (CRIMES) from your cell phone.
- Submit a web tip through the DPS website by selecting the fugitive you have information about, and then clicking on the link under their picture.
- Submit a Facebook tip by clicking the SUBMIT A TIP link (under the About section).
Click here to see his wanted poster. http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/Texas10MostWanted/fugitiveDetails.aspx?id=183.