A convicted robber escaped from a Virginia hospital in a hospital gown after stealing a guard’s gun. Less than 12 hours later, he was arrested in Washington D.C. The suspect, Wossen Assaye, had been taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia, after he attempted suicide on the night of March 30. He made his dramatic escape early on March 31.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Think His Girlfriend Helped Him Escape
Police believe that Assaye’s girlfriend, who hasn’t been named by cops in Fairfax County, has helped him to escape. She lives in the northern Virginia area, as do her family. Fairfax County Police say that Assaye escaped in a silver 2002 Toyota Camry with Virginia tags XZP-8513 and front-damage.
The Inova Hospital, which is in an area that’s considered part of the D.C. Metropolitan area, was locked down while police secured the area. Witnesses who were speaking to CNN said that after his initial escape, Wossen Assaye was chasing hospital staff in his hospital gown while waving his gun around.
2. He Was Being Guarded by a Private Security Firm
According to Fairfax police, Assaye was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital after attempting suicide. His guards were from a private security firm and were not prison officers or Fairfax County cops. At some point Assaye struggled with one of his guards and managed to wrestle a gun away from a female security person. One shot was fired during the incident, Fairfax County haven’t said who shot at who. At the time of his escape, Assaye was wearing a hospital gown and was barefoot. In answering a question on Twitter about why he was guarded by private security, Fairfax police said “this will be looked into.”
3. Wossen Assaye Is Known as the ‘Bicycle Bandit’
Wossen Assaye was arrested on March 23 by FBI agents in connection with the March 20 robbery of Apple Federal Credit Union in Alexandria, Virginia, reports Arlington Now. He had become known as the “Bicycle Bandit” after he escaped the scene of the alleged robbery on a bicycle. NBC Washington reports that Wossen Assaye is accused of two other robberies. When he was arrested, he was staying in his father’s retirement community apartment. A Virginia parole document from 2012 shows that Wossen Assaye’s parole plea was rejected. It cites that he was serving time for robbery and gives his age at 40. News Channel 8’s Mike Conneen reports that Assaye the FBI “believe he’s robbed 12 banks since 10/13.”
4. On His Facebook Page, Assaye Says He’s ‘Self-Employed’
Writing on his Facebook page, Assaye says he’s “self-employed.” He adds that he went to George Mason University and lives in Arlington, Virginia. A photo from February 17 shows Assaye in Las Vegas in front of one of Floyd Mayweather’s cars.
5. He’s Switched Cars
My Fox D.C. reported that police in Fairfax County believed that Assaye was driving a stolen 2008 Hyundai Elantra which is dark gray with Virginia plates reading XTU-5024. The station also reported that as of 10:30 a.m., there was heavy police activity in Annandale, Virginia, under 3 miles east of the Inova Fairfax Hospital. Just before noon on March 31, NBC Washington reported that Wossen had been arrested in southeast Washington D.C.