Published On: Tue, Mar 31st, 2015

Virginia: Wossen Assaye, prisoner escaped, armed and dangerous

Police are searching for an armed escaped prisoner who opened fire in a Fairfax County hospital early Tuesday morning.

Wossen AssayeFairfax County police say Wossen Assaye, a prisoner in the custody of a private security guard, escaped from Inova Fairfax Hospital armed with the security officer’s gun at about 3 a.m. There was a struggle between the security officer and Assaye and one shot was fired, but no one was injured.

Police are searching for Assaye, who is described as a black man wearing a hospital gown and no shoes. He is 6 feet tall and 170 pounds, police say. He is considered armed and dangerous and police say he is believed to be driving a stolen 2002 silver Toyota Camry.

Fairfax County Police Spokesman Bud Walker says a woman was carjacked around 7 a.m. in the Annandale area, several miles from hospital. Walker said the woman who was carjacked identified Assaye as the carjacker and said he was alone and wearing a hospital gown.

Police are asking for anyone who sees a man or car matching the description or notices anything suspicious to call them at 703-691-2131.

Police say he may be with his girlfriend, and they tweeted her picture. Police have not yet released her name.

Assaye was being held by Alexandria City Police on federal charges for armed bank robbery. Assaye was at the hospital after he attempted to harm himself, police say.

Fairfax County Police Chief Col. Ed Roessler says residents in the area should be aware of the threat as authorities search for Assaye.

“We all need to be concerned because he is armed, he is a felon and he has attempted to flee,” Roessler said in a news conference Tuesday morning.

Roessler says Assaye has relatives in the D.C. metro area with whom police are working to make contact.


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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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  1. Ahadu says:

    Wossen Assaye was a regular GERD project bond purchaser at the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington DC.

    He was heard saying the world is responsible for not acting quicker to save the lives of his family members during the repeated famines in Ethiopia. He said he is doing his part to make sure such a mass death due to hunger does not occur in Ethiopia again. He said he will guarantee Ethiopia will stop begging for food from other countries by selling hydroelectric power which he was determined to finance more than anyother diaspora Ethiopians which the record now is held by him as the highest GERD dam bond dam purchaser of all diasporas. An accused bank robber who authorities said escaped custody at a Virginia hospital, stole a gun and led authorities on a nine-hour manhunt has been captured, .

    Wossen Assaye was captured in Washington, D.C., after a massive pursuit, a high-ranking police official told NBC Washington. He was taken into custody around 11:30 a.m. ET Tuesday.

    Assaye was being treated at Inova Fairfax Hospital before he grabbed a security guard’s gun and fled in his gown and bare feet early Tuesday, authorities said. He later carjacked a woman several miles away, they said.

    He overpowered the guard at the hospital at about 3 a.m. ET.. A shot was fired during the struggle, but nobody was injured, authorities said.

    The carjacking was reported about four hours later in nearby Annandale. Fairfax County police said that the victim identified Assaye and said that he was wearing a hospital gown. They later found the car and said he might have switched to a different one.

    Assaye was being held by Alexandria City on federal charges for armed bank robbery, and he had been taken to the hospital after trying to hurt himself, police said.

    He has an “extensive criminal record” and a history of violence and poses a “serious risk to the community,” according to a 2012 Virginia parole board document. The document said that he committed robberies and burglaries.

    Public records show a rap sheet dating to 1972 for a Wossen Assaye, including a breaking-and-entering charge in 1998 and a purse-snatching conviction in 1994, for which he was given a recommended sentence of a year in jail.

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