FAIRFAX, VA (WWBT) - Escaped inmate Wossen Assaye made his first appearance in federal court Tuesday afternoon. A judge ordered he be held without bond, charged with escape.
Assaye, an escaped prisoner from Fairfax, was caught before lunch by Metropolitan Police.
SWAT and police searched for the armed and dangerous escaped prisoner after an active shooter situation at a hospital in Fairfax.
U.S. Marshals say Assaye was a prisoner in the custody of two private security guards from Allied Protective Services. Around 3 a.m. Tuesday, Assaye overpowered a female guard and took her gun. He then confronted the second guard, who fired one shot. No one was hit by the shot. Assaye fled to the stairwell and escaped from Fairfax Hospital armed with the guard's gun. Assaye fled to a residential neighborhood and broke into the trunk of a Toyota Camry. When the driver of the vehicle got in and left for work, Assaye kicked in the back seat of the vehicle. The vehicle then crashed and Assaye carjacked the vehicle. The vehicle was found abandoned around 10:30 a.m., including what is believed to be the security guard's weapon.
Police say Assaye carjacked a second vehicle, a 2008 Gray Hyundai Elantra. He was later spotted by a witness who called Metropolitan Police.
Assaye was being held by Alexandria City on federal charges for armed bank robbery. Police say he was taken to the hospital for treatment after he tried to commit suicide by tying a bed sheet around his neck and jumping off one of the tiers of the detention center. He was treated at the center, then transferred to NOVA Fairfax hospital. Alexandria deputies watched over Assaye for the first 24 hours. A private security company was then hired to guard Assaye.
"He was shackled, but because it's an active investigation at this point, I don't know what restraints were on him at the time," explains U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District Bobby Mathieson.
Mathieson says that's where the investigation is now centered.
The Alexandria Sheriff's office brought Assaye to the hospital on Friday.
An agreement is in place with the U.S. Marshals, where deputies have custody of a hospitalized inmate for the first 24 hours, before the U.S. Marshals take over.
Mathieson says sometimes the department contracts out those security services and this was one of those occasions.
Says Mathieson, "We'll have to find out what happened, if the contract security personnel violated policy in terms of shackles and restraints."
The FBI says it believes Assaye is responsible for 12 bank robberies in Northern Virginia from October 2013 until March 2015.