Army IDs Officer Arrested After Chase in Stolen Armored Vehicle

In this June 5, 2018 photo, emergency personnel surround a National Guard military vehicle stolen from Fort Pickett, Nottoway County, Va. Police in Virginia said they arrested a soldier who stole the armored personnel carrier after chasing him for more than 60 miles. (Grace Hollars/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)
In this June 5, 2018 photo, emergency personnel surround a National Guard military vehicle stolen from Fort Pickett, Nottoway County, Va. Police in Virginia said they arrested a soldier who stole the armored personnel carrier after chasing him for more than 60 miles. (Grace Hollars/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

Virginia State Police arrested an Army National Guard officer Tuesday who was driving in downtown Richmond in a stolen armored vehicle.

After a brief pursuit, Virginia National Guard 1st Lt. Joshua Philip Yabut stopped the M557 armored command vehicle on 11th Street and surrendered to Virginia State Police. He was charged with driving under the influence of drugs and unauthorized use of a vehicle -- a felony offense, according to a Virginia National Guard press release.

The M557 is a variant of the M113 armored personnel carrier.

Yabut, 29, of Richmond, drove the armored vehicle away from Fort Pickett, Virginia, on June 5 while his unit was conducting training, the release states.

The vehicle, which has been returned to the base, had no weapons on it, according to the release. Yabut had his personal weapon with him but no ammunition.

Yabut is commander of the Petersburg-based Headquarters Company, 276th Engineer Battalion. During his 11 years of service, he deployed to Afghanistan from 2008 to 2009 with the Illinois National Guard, according to the release.

The incident began about 7:50 p.m., according to a Virginia State Police press release. Yabut drove the vehicle east on Route 640 and then north on Interstate 95 at a maximum speed of about 40 miles per hour, the release states.

"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," Maj. Gen. Timothy Williams, adjutant general of Virginia, said in the National Guard release.

"We have initiated our own internal investigation, and we will determine appropriate actions once the investigation is complete," he said.

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

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