Escaped prisoner apprehended in D.C. after hours-long manhunt

The Washington Post
By Justin Jouvenal, Dana Hedgpeth and Matt Zapotosky
March 31,2015

The prisoner was suspected of robbing 12 banks and getting away on a bicycle, but his escape from Inova Fairfax Hospital on Tuesday morning would prove even more improbable.

When a guard took a bathroom break, Wossen Assaye, a federal prisoner, somehow slipped his shackles and overpowered a second guard, taking her gun and using her as a human shield, authorities said. Assaye was being treated because of a suicide attempt, they said.

Assaye, 42, then fled his room in a hospital gown as the first guard fired a shot at him, authorities said. He scampered down a hallway without shoes, plunged down a stairwell and ran into the surrounding Fairfax County neighborhood.

The escape touched off a nine-hour manhunt involving hundreds of officers, dogs and a helicopter. Assaye allegedly carjacked two vehicles as police searched for him across Fairfax County and then in the District, where he was captured after being spotted on a Metro bus. Police said it was fortunate that no one was seriously injured.

“An alert community member identified Mr. Assaye,” Fairfax Police Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr. said.

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