1st Lt. Joshua Philip Yabut, 29, of Richmond, was charged with eluding police and unauthorized use of a vehicle, the Virginia National Guard said in a news release, he is accused of leading police on a more than 60-mile chase while driving under the influence of drugs, police said Wednesday.
Police pursued the M577 armored personnel carrier along Route 460 and Interstate 95 before the chase ended with the driver's arrest in downtown Richmond.
Just before hitting the road, Yabut posted a selfie, flashing the Wu Tang Clan sign. He also posted video from inside the M577 while it was moving. Based on the time it was posted, it was while he was driving off Fort Pickett.
In a Wednesday evening phone call from Virginia’s Central State Hospital, Yabut told The Associated Press he was authorized to take the vehicle on a pre-planned route as part of a training exercise to gauge the police response. Yabut said his brigade commander, who he declined to name, told him to take the vehicle.
The National Guard denied that anyone had the idea to test the local police.
The Guard said Yabut is a first lieutenant assigned as company commander of the 276th Engineer Battalion and has more than 11 years of service. He deployed to Afghanistan from 2008 to 2009 with the Illinois National Guard.