FALLS CHURCH, Va. (WRIC) — After a lengthy manhunt Tuesday morning, a prisoner who escaped Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church has been captured by police in Washington, D.C.
The suspect, identified as Wossen Assaye, was captured at Minnesota Avenue and 25th Street southeast in Washington, D.C. Assaye was being held by Alexandria City on federal charges for armed bank robbery.
After Assaye’s capture Tuesday, officials spoke about what happened.
Bobby Mathison, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Virginia said that Assaye came into their custody on March 20.
“He was booked into Alexandria detention center. On the 27th, shortly after 1:00 p.m., the prisoner tied a bed sheet around his neck and dived off a tier, attempting to commit suicide. He was transported by rescue squad to Inova Fairfax hospital. For the first 24 hours of his stay, Alexandria authorities maintained control of prisoner,” Mathison said.
After Assaye’s first day, a private security service called Allied Protective Services took over with a two-person detail for the duration of Assaye’s stay. His only injury at that time was a broken nose.
“This morning at 3:00 a.m., while under observation by two contracted security officers, the prisoner overpowered a female security officer and confronted the male security officer. One shot was fired. No one hit, no one injured. The prisoner then escaped through a stairwell of Inova Fairfax Hospital,” Marshal Mathison said.
Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Roessler said that in Fairfax County police custody, a prisoner would typically be handcuffed, but he didn’t know what federal procedures were. U.S. Marshal Mathison said Assaye was shackled to his hospital gurney.
“We have no indication at this time that anything was pre-planned,” Mathison said.
After Assaye overpowered the guard, he carjacked a vehicle. Assaye switched to another vehicle before his capture.
Assaye escaped the hospital barefooted and in a hospital gown. Police say he changed into street clothes after his escape.
Authorities also released a photo of Assaye’s girlfriend, saying that the pair may be spotted together.
Inova Fairfax Hospital was on lockdown as police searched the area. The lockdown has since been lifted.
Stay with us for updates as they become available.