…When a guard took a bathroom break, Wossen Assaye, a federal prisoner, somehow slipped his shackles and overpowered a second guard, taking her gun and using her as a human shield, authorities said. Assaye was being treated because of a suicide attempt, they said. ….Robert W. “Bobby” Mathieson, U.S. marshal for the Eastern District of Virginia, said it has been agency policy to have private security firms, not the Marshals Service, guard prisoners being treated at hospitals. Federal records show that in January 2014, Allied Protection Services was awarded a contract with the Marshals Service to provide armed guards for work in the Eastern District of Virginia. The contract is reviewed annually but would be worth a total of $306,000 over five years…..
Escaped prisoner arrested in D.C.
Source: Dana Hedgpeth and Justin Jouvenal, Washington Post, March 31, 2015
An escaped prisoner who overpowered a private security guard at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church and later carjacked two people was arrested in D.C. shortly before noon, police said…. The escaped prisoner, who took the security guard’s gun, is known by police as the “Bicycle Bandit” and is believed to be involved in several bank robberies in the area, escaping on a bicycle… Police said a private security company was hired to guard him at the hospital. According to the police account, a struggle ensued between the guard and Assaye inside a hospital room. Assaye overpowered the guard and took a gun. Police said one shot was fired but no one was injured. Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Roessler did not specify who fired the shot. Assaye “gained control of the gun,” Roessler said. He said two guards were watching Assaye at the time of the incident, but only one guard was involved in the struggle….Under an agreement with the U.S. Marshals Service, federal prisoners are held at the Alexandria detention center, according to Amy Bertsch, a spokeswoman for the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office. Bertsch said Alexandria sheriff’s deputies remained with Assaye until Saturday afternoon and then turned custody over to security officers hired under a contract with the U.S. Marshals office. Assaye escaped from the hospital under the watch of two private security officers. Desmond Proctor, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals, declined to comment Tuesday on the incident or discuss the agency’s policy for maintaining the custody of prisoners in medical settings. He said they expected to release a statement later today…..