An officer with the Virginia National Guard took police on a low-speed chase through the streets of Richmond, Virginia before being apprehended. The soldier, a first lieutenant with the Virginia National Guard, stole the armored command post before taking it on the interstate. He was later apprehended and booked on multiple charges.
Yesterday, June 6th 2018, First Lieutenant Joshua Phillip Yabut drove the M1068 armored command post vehicle off the grounds of Fort Pickett, an Army National Guard base in Blackstone, Virginia. According to the National Guard Yabut was the commander of Headquarters Company, 276th Engineer Battalion, Virginia National Guard.
Lieutenant Yabut drove the vehicle for nearly two hours, leaving Fort Pickett at 7:50 PM. He was taken into custody at 9:40 PM. Yabut drove the M1068 vehicle, which has tracks like a tank, on Interstates 85 and 95 to downtown Richmond where he was apprehended. Google Maps says the 60 mile trip typicallly takes just over an hour, but the M1068 isn’t capable of driving the speed limit, topping out at 40 miles an hour. Police vehicles followed the M1068 with lights flashing during the trip and no crashes or injuries were reported.
The M1068 Standard Integrated Command Post System (SICPS) Carrier is a mobile command post designed for use by U.S. Army and National Guard headquarters units. Based on the older M113 armored personnel carrier, the boxy M1068 is designed to provide a protective space for headquarters troops even during chemical or nuclear attack The interior is taller than most vehicles to allow soldiers to work standing up. The vehicle is an updated version of the older M577. It is very lightly armored and has no weapons. National Guard officials confirmed Yabut had his “personal weapon” with him, which could mean a M9 pistol or M4 carbine, but no ammunition.
Yabut’s Twitter feed includes pictures and video apparently taken during the joyride. In past tweets the National Guard lieutenant also claims to have discovered “a large illegal spy operation in the U.S.” government and then adds, in a subsequent tweet, “i’m thinking about snitching.” In February, Yabut also filed with the U.S. Federal Election Commission to run for Senate.
The lieutenant was booked into Richmond jail on charges of driving under the influence of drugs, felony eluding police, and felony unauthorized use of a vehicle. In addition to civilian criminal charges, a military court martial is almost certainly in his future.
This article originally appeared in Popular Mechanics