A U.S. soldier stole an armored vehicle from a Virginia National Guard base and led police on a 60-mile chase before being stopped and arrested.
According to Virginia State police, the soldier drove the armored vehicle out of Fort Pickett around 7:50 p.m. and wasn’t stopped by authorities until around 9:50 p.m. on Tuesday.
“This is INSANE! Someone has hijacked a ‘Tank-like’ vehicle from Fort Pickett and just drove it by our apartment! This is on Broad Street in the Fan,” said Parker Slaybaugh, the communications director for the Virginia Speaker of the House.
This is INSANE! Someone has hijacked a “Tank-like” vehicle from Fort Pickett and just drove it by our apartment! This is on Broad Street in the Fan. pic.twitter.com/EYfhFux1dk
— Parker Slaybaugh (@ParkerSlay89) June 6, 2018
The vehicle appears to be an M113 variant, likely an M577 Armored Command Vehicle (ACV).
State Police Sgt. Keeli Hill told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the vehicle was driven at speeds up to 45 miles per hour and police were unable to stop it. Police were forced to surround the vehicle until the soldier got out of the vehicle near Richmond’s City Hall.
Police officers armed with rifles guarded the Capitol Square while stopping nearby traffic.
According to NBC Washington, the soldier was identified as Joshua Philip Yabut. Yabut is a first lieutenant assigned as the commander of the 276th Engineer Battalion, the paper reported.
Yabut was charged with driving under the influence of drugs, one count of eluding police and one count of unauthorized use of a vehicle.
A taser was used by police before taking Yabut into custody on Tuesday.