A day after a massive search for a Fairfax County prisoner who escaped from Inova Fairfax Hospital, a passenger on a Metrobus who helped police find Wossen Assaye spoke exclusively with FOX 5.
Police captured the 42-year-old in Washington D.C. after he was accused of carjacking two vehicles while taking authorities on a manhunt that spanned the region. But locating him was all thanks to a FOX 5 viewer who recognized Assaye from our news coverage and decided to call 911.
She is now being credited with ending the eight-hour long manhunt that started in northern Virginia and ended at a gas station in Southeast D.C.
The woman, who wants to be identified as Jess, told us that she and her fiancé got on a Metrobus at the Potomac Ave stop and Assaye was already on the bus. She said he somehow had already unshackled himself and got out of his hospital gown and changed into jeans, a windbreaker and boots.
When Jess and her fiancé got on the bus, they sat behind him and that is when she says Assaye turned around and asked to use their cellphone.
"The guy turns to us and says, ‘Can I give you $2 to use your cellphone?'" Jess told us. "My fiancé says you don't have to give me any money to use my cell phone. I'll let you use it.
"He grabbed the cell phone and then he started speaking into the receiver as if he was trying to tell a secret. My fiancé said he kept saying, ‘Call Queen. Call Queen.' We don't know who Queen is, of course, but he gives him back the cell phone and then he gets off the bus before us.
"As we were pulling off, his sister calls back and says, ‘My brother just used your phone to call me. Is he still on the bus?' My fiancé says he's not on the bus anymore."
Jess told us his face rang a bell so she went on Facebook where she saw FOX 5's post with Assaye's picture. She then called police and told the dispatcher about where he got off at Minnesota and Pennsylvania Avenue.
About 30 minutes later, detectives called her to let her know that it was her tip that led them to Assaye and his capture.