Virginia National Guard Soldier Steals Armored Vehicle, Leads Police on 2-Hour Chase
Joshua Philip Yabut, 29, of Richmond, Va., was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of drugs.
A Virginia National Guardsman was arrested after he allegedly stole an armored vehicle from a fort and led police on a two-hour chase down an interstate, authorities said.
Joshua Philip Yabut is accused of stealing a M577 armored personnel carrier from Fort Pickett on Tuesday.
"The unit was conducting routine training at Fort Pickett when [Yabut] drove away in the armored personnel carrier," Virginia National Guard spokesman Cotton Puryear told WTVR-TV.
Though the vehicle can only reach a maximum speed of 40 miles per hour, that didn’t stop Yabut from allegedly leading cops in a pursuit that spanned 60 miles, officials said.
Yabut drove down Route 460 in Blackstone to Interstate 85 and then north on Interstate 95 in Richmond, police said.
The incident was first reported about 7:50 p.m. Tuesday. Around 8 p.m., Yabut appeared to post photos and videos of him inside the vehicle on Twitter.
The chase came to an end in Richmond at about 10 p.m., when Yabut was arrested. He was charged with driving under the influence of drugs, felony eluding police and felony unauthorized use of a vehicle.
The vehicle was not equipped with any weapons, and while Yabut did have his personal weapon with him, it wasn't loaded, authorities said.
Yabut is a first lieutenant assigned as the commander of the Petersburg-based Headquarters Company, 276th Engineer Battalion, Puryear told WTVR-TV.
He has served for more than 11 years. He was deployed to Afghanistan from 2008 to 2009 with the Illinois National Guard.
In February, Yabut filed with the Federal Election Commission with intent to run for U.S. Senate.
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