WASHINGTON - An inmate in a hospital for treatment after a suicide attempt overpowered a guard, took her gun, escaped, and carjacked two vehicles Tuesday, setting off a frenzied search that ended nine hours later with his capture as he got off a bus in the nation's capital.
Wossen Assaye, 42, was charged earlier this month as the "Bicycle Bandit" - accused of robbing a dozen banks in northern Virginia and sometimes fleeing on two wheels.
Assaye had tried to kill himself in jail and was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital in northern Virginia on Friday, authorities said. He had been under the supervision of two contract guards.
Police say that about 3 a.m. Tuesday, Assaye overpowered a female guard when the other guard left to use the restroom. He took her gun and used her as a shield.
He then fled down a stairwell, wearing only his hospital gown.
The other guard fired one shot in the encounter. No one was hit, and nobody at the hospital was injured.
Outside the hospital, Assaye fled on foot and hid in the trunk of a car. Police were unsure whether Assaye had left the hospital complex.
While Assaye hid in the trunk, the woman who owned the car entered it and began driving. Assaye kicked open the trunk and carjacked the startled woman, who suffered slight injuries, said Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler.