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Escaped Virginia Prisoner Apprehended in DC

Virginia man, Wossen Assaye, who escaped federal authorities Tuesday morning.
Wossen Assaye who eluded federal authorities Tuesday.

A man identified as Wossen Assaye was apprehended yesterday morning in Washington, D.C. following an hours-long man-hunt after the man, being held on federal bank robbery charges, escaped from a Northern Virginia hospital.

Assaye was purportedly being held at INOVA Fairfax Hospital on a suicide watch while charges are pending in federal court for as many as 12 bank robberies.

While one of the guards watching Assaye was using the restroom, Assaye apparently was able to overpower another guard, stealing her gun and using her as a human shield as he made his exit. When the other guard returned he fired one shot at the fleeing Assaye before Assaye was able to scurry down a hallway, into the stairwell and out of the hospital. He was wearing nothing but a hospital gown.

Assaye’s escape marked the beginning of a lengthy manhunt, complete with dogs and helicopters. What happened next sounds like something straight out of the movies:

Assaye found a silver Toyota Camry in a nearby parking lot, broke into the trunk and waited. When the owner of the car arrived and started driving to work on her normal morning commute, Assaye forcibly broke into the backseat from the truck – all while the car was moving. The woman, understandably upset by this development, promptly crashed the car and fled. Assaye then took the wheel and sped off. The car was later found abandoned in an Annandale suburb.

U.S. Marshalls search for Assaye early Tuesday morning.
U.S. Marshalls search for Assaye.

Assaye was then spotted running through nearby woods and then stealing another vehicle, a Hyundai Elantra. This is where the trail goes cold, at least for another hour.

At approximately 11:30 am, an alert citizen spotted Assaye on a Metrobus in Southeast D.C. and called the authorities. Police arrived and spotted him walking nearby. He was arrested without incident. He was wearing blue jeans and a dark jacket. Police are unsure where or how he obtained the clothes – or what happened to his hospital gown. The stolen Hyundai was located elsewhere in the District.

Assaye has been charged with escaping federal officials and is likely to be charged for various other offenses related to the two carjackings. He appeared in federal court yesterday afternoon and is being held without bond.

Fairfax INOVA Hospital
Police activity outside INOVA Fairfax Hospital

It just goes to show – you never know what might happen during your morning commute in the DMV area…