Company Commander Steals Armored Vehicle, Leads Police On Chase In Virginia

RICHMOND, V.A. — Police in Virginia say they arrested a soldier who stole an armored personnel carrier from a National Guard base and was chased by police for more than 60 miles.

The Virginia National Guard says Joshua Philip Yabut, 29, is accused of stealing an armored personnel carrier and driving it under the influence of drugs for more than 60 miles.  Yabut is a first lieutenant and company commander.

State Police Sgt. Keeli Hill tells the Richmond Times-Dispatch the vehicle, which drives on tracks like a tank, topped out at speeds of about 45 mph. Police couldn’t stop it, so they ended up escorting it, sirens blazing, ahead and behind it before Yabut finally stopped and got out near Richmond’s City Hall.

Witnesses said Yabut got out and started walking around before police sent a dog to attack him, shot him with a Taser and took him into custody.

Yabut, of Richmond, is assigned as the commander of the Petersburg-based Headquarters Company, 276th Engineer Battalion, and has more than 11 years of service. The release says he deployed to Afghanistan from 2008 to 2009 with the Illinois National Guard.