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Prisoner Who Escaped Custoday at Inova Fairfax Indicted on 16 Counts

(Courtesy of the Fairfax County Police Department)
(Courtesy of the Fairfax County Police Department)

A federal grand jury returned a 16-count indictment against Wossen Assaye, the 43-year-old Arlington man who escaped from custody while being treated at Inova Fairfax Hospital in late March, charging him with bank robbery, bank burglary, escape, kidnapping, assault and related firearms offenses, the U.S. Attorney’s Office¬†reported today in a press release.

According to the indictment, beginning in October until March 2015, Assaye robbed various banks in Northern Virginia on five occasions, twice brandishing a gun. In a sixth instance, Assaye allegedly entered a bank with the intent to commit bank robbery and larceny.

Assaye was charged by complaint on March 25 for a bank robbery offense and was subsequently arrested and detained. While at Inova Fairfax Hospital for treatment, Assaye escaped federal custody and, during the course of his escape, he brandished a gun to assault two federal officers who were guarding him and kidnapped one of the officers. The indictment also charges Assaye with unlawfully possessing a firearm after being convicted of eight violent felonies.

If convicted, Assaye faces a mandatory minimum of 122 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison. Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Andrew G. McCabe, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Colonel Edwin C. Roessler, Jr., Fairfax County Chief of Police; Earl L. Cook, Alexandria City Chief of Police; Michael L. Chapman, Loudoun County Sheriff; and Mary Gavin, Falls Church Chief of Police, made the announcement after the indictment was returned.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Fairfax County Police Department, Alexandria City Police Department, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and the Falls Church City Police Department.

Also, during the course of the investigation assistance was received from U.S. Marshals Service, Virginia State Police, Arlington County Police Department and Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael E. Rich, William M. Sloan, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Cindy Chang are prosecuting the case.