Virginia prisoner captured after escaping with guard's gun

A prisoner who escaped custody and was believed to be armed and dangerous was captured by law enforcement officers in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

Wossen Assaye was arrested by Washington Metropolitan Police after a bystander recognized his face on the news and called police, said Fairfax County, Va., police Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr.


"We're glad he was apprehended and that no one was hurt," Roessler said in a news conference with reporters.

Assaye was in the custody of an armed private security guard when he  escaped from Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va., about 3 a.m. local time Tuesday. He allegedly struggled with the guard and one shot was fired before Assaye fled with the guard's gun. No one was injured, according to police.

Roessler did not say if Assaye was armed when he was arrested in southeast Washington.

Assaye was being held in Alexandria on federal charges of armed bank robbery, said police. He had been taken to the hospital after allegedly trying to take his own life.

A woman was carjacked around 7 a.m. several miles from the hospital, and police suspect Assaye in the carjacking, Roessler said.

Several schools and roads were shut down as police searched for Assaye, along with a woman believed to be his girlfriend. When speaking to reporters Tuesday, Roessler said he believed the girlfriend, who was not identified, had no involvement in Assaye's escape.

Authorities have linked Assaye to more than a dozen bank robberies in Northern Virginia that date back to October 2013, according to the Washington Post. However, he has only been charged with one.

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