Escaped Va. Prisoner Captured By Police After Escaping Hospital
FALLS CHURCH, Va. (WJZ) -- Fugitive captured. A prisoner who escaped from a northern Virginia hospital, triggering a manhunt involving hundreds of police and federal agents, is now back behind bars.
Derek Valcourt has details on how the accused bank robber was apprehended.
The intense manhunt that lasted nine hours is now over. Police give credit to an alert citizen who spotted the suspect on a Metro bus in DC.
Forty-two-year-old Wossen Assaye's brief brush with freedom is now over. Police arrested him in southeast DC just after noon.
"We are glad he is in custody and no one was hurt in this event," said Fairfax County Police Chief Lt. Col. Edwin Roessler.
The accused bank robber was under watch by two private security guards as he got treatment in a Falls Church hospital after trying to take his own life while in custody. When one guard went to the restroom, he overpowered a female guard and stole her gun. Dressed in only a hospital gown, he fled the building and apparently snuck inside the trunk of a car belonging to a woman who lives near the hospital.
"This lady comes running in, hysterical," said witness Bill Kim. "She asks me to call 911."
Business owner Bill Kim says the woman told him that as she drove, the suspect kicked his way out of the trunk and into the backseat. The scare caused her to crash in a busy neighborhood.
"I came to run to help because I thought someone was really hurt and the car took off up the street at a real high speed," said witness Preston Hall.
After the suspect drove off, he then carjacked another driver. It wasn't until just after noon---nine hours after his escape---Assaye's luck ran out as he was arrested exiting a Metro bus at Minnesota Avenue in southeast DC.
Assaye is a suspect in 12 bank robberies. He's alleged to have stolen more than $30,000 in all. He's now facing a long list of charges for the escape and carjackings of the last 24 hours.
The suspect was not handcuffed when he escaped.
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