Armed prisoner who escaped Virginia hospital captured in D.C.

Mar 31, 2015 11:33 AM by News Staff

WASHINGTON -- Police say a prisoner who escaped custody at a northern Virginia hospital with a guard's gun has been captured in Washington.

CBS affiliate WUSA reported that Wossen Assaye was captured coming off a Metrobus in southeast Washington, D.C.

Fairfax County police tweeted just before noon Tuesday that the escaped prisoner was in the custody of Metropolitan Police.

Police say one shot was fired early Tuesday as a guard wrestled with Assaye, who then fled Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church in a hospital gown and carjacked a car miles away. Police say he later carjacked a second car.

Authorities say Assaye was being held on a federal bank robbery charge and was taken to the hospital last week after attempting suicide.

Television images showed police in full SWAT gear and helmets with guns drawn, swarming neighborhoods in northern Virginia looking for Assaye.

Assaye was arrested March 20 charged with a robbery at Apple Federal Credit Union in Alexandria. But in a court document, an FBI agent suggests Assaye, 42, of Arlington, is responsible for a string of 12 bank robberies in northern Virginia over the last year and a half.

Brooke Rupert, a public defender who was representing Assaye in the robbery case, declined to comment Tuesday morning.

Assaye had been booked into the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center in Alexandria on the federal charges March 21, Alexandria Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Amy Bertsch said in a statement. On Friday, he attempted suicide and was taken to the hospital just outside the Capital Beltway for treatment, she said. Alexandria deputy sheriffs maintained custody of Assaye for the first 24 hours before turning him over to security officers contracted by the U.S. Marshals, she said.

After the escape, Fairfax County police spokesman Bud Walker said a woman was carjacked around 7 a.m. in the Annandale area, several miles from hospital. He said the woman who was carjacked identified Assaye as the carjacker and said he was alone and wearing a hospital gown.

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