Guard of escaped prisoner had only been on job for weeks

WASHINGTON — One of the guards from whom a prisoner escaped, which launched an hourslong manhunt, had only been on the job for a few weeks, according to records obtained by WTOP.

Wossen Assaye, 42, escaped from U.S. Marshals Service custody at Inova Fairfax Hospital sparking a regionwide manhunt on March 31.

The male guard, who investigators have said had gone to use the bathroom when Assaye overpowered the guard’s female partner, was registered as a security officer on Feb. 12, 2015.

Allied Protective Services’ contract with the U.S. Marshals Service requires that all guards in the Eastern District of Virginia have that registration, and separate previous experience, before they are used to guard prisoners.

Assaye had been taken to the hospital from Alexandria’s jail after a suicide attempt.

The female guard has been registered as a security officer in Virginia for more than four years. Both guards are permitted to carry guns.

Neither guard has any complaints or disciplinary history on file with Virginia’s Department of Criminal Justice Services.

Assaye was indicted this week on 16 counts related to earlier bank robberies as well as the escape.

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