The Florida detective who was stabbed by a prisoner he was transporting in Grapevine says he was caught by surprise when Alberto Morales attacked him with a sharp piece from a pair of eyeglasses.
Miami-Dade Police Department Detective Jaime Pardinas said Thursday that he and the prisoner engaged in a hand -to-hand fight inside the vehicle Feb. 11.
He said Thursday that he felt "much, much better -- and, I suppose, much better than he ever anticipated."
He credited 28 years of police experience and training with his survival.
Pardinas sustained deep stab wounds to the neck, shoulder and back and a collapsed lung. He was released from the hospital and returned to Miami after surgery confirmed no severe injuries.
"They were mostly puncture wounds to my back and to my chest," he said. "He tried getting to my eyes, but all the training over 28 years kicked in. I was able to fend him off and, as I stood up outside the car, I tower over him, so he knew it was time to go, and that's when he took the opportunity and left."
Pardinas and another detective were transporting Morales from Miami to Nevada to serve a 30-year-to-life sentence for sexual assault.
Morales was fatally shot when he resisted arrest after a five-day manhunt.
Pardinas visited the scene near Lake Grapevine where Morales was shot before leaving Texas.
"I needed that closure," he said. "I needed to know where he was. I needed to be able to touch something."
Pardinas thanked North Texas law enforcement officers who worked on the case.
"I just want to be able to thank every marshal, every officer, detective in Grapevine PD, the chief, Eddie Salame," he said. "I want to thank them, thank them personally."