Menu
Share
Share this story
Close X
 
Switch to Desktop Site

Escaped Virginia prisoner captured after nine-hour manhunt

The armed prisoner, accused bank robber Wossen Assaye, who fled a Virginia hospital early Tuesday morning was recaptured in Washington and is in the custody of the city police.

View video

View photo

An armed prisoner who fled a suburban Washington hospital with a guard's gun on Tuesday was recaptured in the U.S. capital after a nine-hour manhunt, police said.

The prisoner, accused bank robber Wossen Assaye, 42, broke free from a private security guard at the Inova Fairfax Medical Campus in Falls Church, Virginia, at about 3 a.m. and fled with the guard's weapon, the Fairfax County Police Department said on its Twitter account.

About these ads

Assaye stole two cars during a manhunt by local, state and federal authorities. He was recaptured in Washington and is in the custody of the city police, Fairfax County Police said.

Assaye had been held by the nearby city of Alexandria and was taken to the hospital about 15 miles (24 km) west of Washington on Friday after he tried to harm himself, according to police.

While at the hospital, Assaye overpowered the guard early on Tuesday and took his gun, police said. One shot was fired, but no one was injured before Assaye fled wearing only a hospital gown, police said.

Assaye is charged with the March 20 robbery of the Apple Federal Credit Union in Alexandria. An affidavit in U.S. District Court said he fled the bank on a bicycle with about $1,800.

A man matching Assaye's description is suspected in 11 other bank robberies in northern Virginia. Assaye, who is on probation, was in prison from 2000 to 2013 for burglary and robbery convictions, the affidavit said.

Fairfax County Police spokesman Roger Henriquez told CBS News that the first vehicle stolen by Assaye had been driven by a woman who discovered him in the back seat.

Henriquez said that either during the woman's escape or when Assaye was driving, the car sustained heavy front-end damage.

About these ads

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Colleen Jenkins in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Walker Simon, Susan Heavey and Lisa Von Ahn)