Breaking News – Wossen Assaye Virginia Escaped Prisoner Arrested in DC (Video)

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Wossen Assaye from Ethiopia who was on the run after escaped from a Virginia hospital Arrested in Washington DC

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FALLS CHURCH, Va. (MEDIA GENERAL) — A manhunt is underway for a prisoner believed to be armed, dangerous and on the run from a Virginia hospital. The prisoner, Wossen Assaye, is believed to have overpowered a guard, stolen a gun, and carjacked a woman in order to escape authorities in Falls Church, Virginia.

Assaye is no small-time criminal. Investigators believe he may be connected to as many as 12 bank robberies in the Virginia area. At the time of Tuesday’s escape, he was being held on federal bank robbery charges.

Court documents reveal just how brazen Assaye is and what led authorities up to this point and what is now an all-out manhunt for an armed and dangerous criminal.

photo provided by the Fairfax County Police Department, in Virginia, shows prisoner Wossen Assaye.

This undated photo provided by the Fairfax County Police Department, in Virginia, shows prisoner Wossen Assaye. Police locked down Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va., early Tuesday, March 31, 2015, and closed area roads while they searched for Assaye, who they say is armed and dangerous after he escaped custody. (AP/Fairfax County Police Department)

Criminal History

The FBI along with a number of other law enforcement agencies have been looking into a series of 12 bank robberies in Eastern Virginia from October 2013 until March 20, 2015. Assaye is being held as a suspect in those cases. Assaye has previously been convicted for multiple statutory burglary and robbery offenses from 1998-1999 in Virginia. He spent 2000 to May 2013 behind bars. And, he was on probation at the time of his recent arrest.

Video News by ABC7

Video News by NBC News

Video News By NBC4

The Bicycle Bank Robber

The bank robber in all 12 of the recent cases followed a similar pattern, according to investigators. The person enters the bank, often with cell phone to his ear, he approaches the teller, shows a gun or a note and verbally demands money. After getting the cash, the man flees on a bicycle.

The suspect’s face has been captured on surveillance camera or video in a number of these robberies. He’s been described as a thinly built black male, and all the surveillance video from the various banks appears similar. The suspect has also been said to have an African accent, possibly Ethiopian, according to witnesses.

In each instance, the bank robber got away with various amounts of cash, anywhere from $757 to $9,963, according to court documents.

Tracing the Robbery Suspect

Remember the bank robber used his cell phone during the robberies, and that appears to have been his undoing. According to investigators, in January of 2015, Sprint gave the FBI information from towers located near the robberies during certain timeframes. Using that data, the FBI was able to connect one common phone number to the location and timeframes of the robberies. That number was attached to Wossen Assaye, 42 from Ethiopia. Mug shots showed he looked similar to the bicycle bank robber.

Arresting Wossen Assaye

Right after a bank robber on March 20, 2015, investigators began watching Assaye’s apartment building. After a chase in which Assaye’s car reached speeds of more than 100 miles per hour, agents lost him. But, he eventually returned to the apartment, where officers were waiting. He was arrested with $1600 cash in his jacket. The most recent robbery had taken $1808.

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1 comment

Ahadu April 1, 2015 - 5:03 pm

He 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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