Share story

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A man known as the “bicycle bandit” who became even more infamous after escaping from custody at a northern Virginia hospital has been sentenced to 32 years in prison.

Forty-three-year-old Wossen Assaye  of Arlington pleaded guilty in July in federal court in Alexandria to firearms charges stemming from his March 31 escape from Inova Fairfax Hospital. The jail had taken Assaye to the hospital after a suicide attempt.

Assaye overpowered and briefly kidnapped one of his guards at the hospital, then fled and evaded authorities for nine hours before being captured in Washington, D.C.

The 32-year sentence imposed Friday was required under mandatory minimum sentencing laws.

Assaye was originally in custody for a series of bank robberies in northern Virginia, where he made his getaway by bicycle.