A First Lieutenant in the Virginia National Guard was arrested after allegedly stealing an armored personnel carrier and leading the police on a wild chase through downtown Richmond on Tuesday.
1LT Joshua Philip Yabut, the Commander of Headquarters Company, 276th Engineer Battalion, has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs, felony eluding, and a felony count of unauthorized use of a vehicle.
Yabut is accused of taking the M577 military vehicle from Fort Pickett, driving it over 60 miles on I-95, and into downtown Richmond before surrendering to the responding police officers. The APC was reportedly stolen around 7:50pm and the chase was ended at approximately 9:40pm.
Police say the lieutenant did have his “personal weapon” with him, but he was not in possession of any ammunition. It is being reported that the armored personnel carrier sustained little to no damage and was returned safely to Fort Picket. There were also no reports of damage or injuries to civilians or personnel property during the event.
Yabut has served more than 11 years in the military and had previously deployed to Afghanistan from 2008 to 2009 with the Illinois National Guard. According to his Twitter account, the soldier was tweeting photos and video from inside the stolen vehicle as well.
Beyond the “under the influence of drugs” allegation, a motive has not been revealed. Being as the suspect is a First Lieutenant, it is more than possible that his map was upside down, which caused him to get lost, at which point he panicked.