by Karim Doumar
Wossen Assaye, 43, of Arlington, a prisoner who escaped police custody at Inova Fairfax Hospital in late March, pleaded guilty yesterday to two counts of using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during his assaults of two security guards when he escaped from custody.
Assaye was originally charged on March 25 with robbing various banks on 11 different occasions beginning in October of 2013 and continuing through March 2015. He was subsequently arrested and detained.
Assaye was at Fairfax Inova Hospital for treatment when he escaped, overpowering a security guard, taking her firearm, and pulling her down the hospital hallway at gunpoint before fleeing the premises.
He was captured later that day and indicted by a federal grand jury on May 28, 2015 on 16 counts, including bank robbery, bank burglary, escape, kidnapping, assault and related firearms offenses. The indictment carried a minimum sentence of 122 years.
According to the plea agreement, Assaye pleaded guilty to two counts related to his escape and claimed responsibility for the actions that led to his initial arrest.
With this agreement, Assaye faces a mandatory minimum of 32 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison. He will be sentenced on October 9, 2015.
The case was investigated by 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.
During the course of the investigation, assistance was also 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 and William M. Sloan and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney William A. Glaser are prosecuting the case.