Guy Who Stole Tank for Richmond Joyride Was on Drugs, Live-Tweeted Everything

Police have released details about the strange incident that made headlines the other day, of a guy who stole a tank-like vehicle and took it for a joyride through Richmond, Virginia. As it turns out, the guy was an experienced soldier and, yes, he was high on drugs at the time.
1st Lieutenant Joshua Yabut stole an armored vehicle and drove it through Richmond 5 photos
Photo: Twitter
Military official steals tank-like vehicle for joyride in RichmondMilitary official steals tank-like vehicle for joyride in RichmondMilitary official steals tank-like vehicle for joyride in RichmondMilitary official steals tank-like vehicle for joyride in Richmond
The “tank” wasn’t actually a tank: it was an M577 Armored Personnel Carrier (AMC, for short) and it wasn’t equipped with weapons. No one was injured during the chase, but it made headlines because it spanned a great distance and lasted a couple of hours, partly because the AMC can’t reach speeds higher than 40 mph.

When the cops finally managed to pull the AMC to a stop (or it ran out of fuel, more likely), they had to taser the guy who’d driven it because he would not obey their commands. At the time, no other details about his identity were made public.

They have been now: his name is Joshua Yabut and he is (or was) a 1st Lieutenant with the Virginia National Guard, and has an 11-year track record with the military. He was supposed to take part in routine training at the Fort Pickett in Blackstone, from where he later ended up driving away in the AMC.

He was high on drugs when he did that, police officials have confirmed for the media. Moreover, he had been dropping hints about his plans all day on social media, Task And Purpose reports. The Twitter handle isn’t confirmed, but the outlet says the probability that it was him is very high – especially since he actually live-tweeted from inside the AMC as it was being chased by the police.

Yabut had also hinted that he was thinking of retiring from the military, so maybe getting high, stealing an armored vehicle and taking it for a ride was his idea of “going out with a bang.” He even joked that he’d be going to jail soon, so some part of him must have known that what he was doing was serious stuff.

Yabut is being charged with driving under the influence of drugs, eluding police and unauthorized use of a vehicle, with these last two being felonies. He’s currently in a psychiatric hospital for evaluation, but he’s been telling the press that he’s being held there against his will and that he was just following orders when he was arrested.

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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