A soldier stole an armored vehicle from a Virginia National Guard base and took a joyride through Richmond, Virginia, while under the influence of drugs, Virginia State Police said Tuesday.
At around 7:50 p.m. on Tuesday, 29-year-old Joshua Philip Yabut led authorities on a more than 60-mile chase through Richmond, hitting a maximum speed of about 40 mph in the M577 armored personnel carrier.
“The military vehicle, which moves on tracks similar to a tank, was not equipped with any weaponry and is the property of the Virginia National Guard,” Fox News reported. Yabut did have his weapon with him, but it was not loaded, police said.
The suspect was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, and is being charged with one felony count of eluding police and another felony count of unauthorized use of a vehicle, according to the Virginia National Guard.
There were no crashes or injuries involved during the pursuit.
“We wanted to make sure we had the safety of the public first and foremost, and we wanted to make sure there wasn’t going to be the possibility of civilians being injured in the process,” State Police Sgt. Keeli Hill told WTVR.
Video was posted on social media that showed authorities chasing the vehicle through city streets.
Around 9:40 p.m., Yabut abandoned the vehicle and was taken into custody.
“It sounds like he pretty much just stopped on his own accord,” Sgt. Hill told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
According to WTVR, Yabut was tased after not following troopers’ commands and was transported to VCU Medical Center with minor injuries.
Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, published a news release after the incident, thanking authorities who safely ended the incident.
“We are extremely grateful that there were no injuries as a result of this incident, and we appreciate the great work of the Virginia State Police, Richmond Police Department and other law enforcement and first responders who safely brought this situation to a close,” Williams said.
“We have initiated our own internal investigation, and we will determine appropriate actions once the investigation is complete.”
Yabut is a first lieutenant in the Virginia National Guard and has more than 11 years of service, the Virginia National Guard said.
He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday and is currently being held at the Richmond jail.
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