Soldier who led chase with armored vehicle makes court appearance


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Joshua Philip Yabut, an Army National Guard officer who drove off in an armored personnel carrier from Fort Pickett in June while under the influence of drugs, entered a Richmond courtroom on Friday shackled at the wrists and ankles.  

While a reason was not provided to 8News, the judge notified the courtroom on Friday morning that Yabut needed to be secured while in court. He was escorted into the courtroom in an orange jumpsuit, shackled at his wrist and ankles.

Police said Yabut took the M577 armored personnel carrier from Fort Pickett in Nottoway County on June 5 and led authorities on a slow pursuit up Interstate 95 before surrendering in downtown Richmond. 

In a release, the Virginia National Guard said Yabut is a first lieutenant assigned as the commander of the Petersburg-based Headquarters Company, 276th Engineer Battalion, with more than 11 years of service.

He deployed to Afghanistan from 2008 to 2009 with the Illinois National Guard.

Attorneys confirmed the charge of eluding police against Yabut is the only remaining charge in Circuit Court.  The judge revoked Yabut’s bond after the Commonwealth requested it to be. 

Yabut is currently being held in the Richmond Justice Center. Sources confirmed to 8News on May 14 that Yabut plans to plead not guilty by reason of insanity. Yabut’s trial will start on Aug. 19 in Nottoway County.

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