Joshua Phillip Yabut, the National Guard first lieutenant accused of leading police on a lengthy chase through Richmond, Virginia in June, in a, well, let’s say “liberated” APC, was deemed competent to stand trial after a two-and-a-half month evaluation, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
- The 30-year-old guardsman appeared in Richmond General District Court on Sept. 26, where his attorney and a local prosecutor reached a deal to dismiss all but one charge against him, the Times-Dispatch reports.
- Yabut, an Afghanistan veteran with 11 years in the guard, is accused of leaving Fort Pickett, Virginia, in an M577 armored command vehicle on the evening of June 5 and leading local police on a 65-mile joyride at 40 miles per hour before surrendering to police in downtown Richmond.
- A company commander with the 276th Engineer Battalion, Yabut was taking part in annual training at Fort Pickett when he absconded with the vehicle just before 8 p.m.
- Following his arrest, Yabut was charged with driving under the influence of drugs, eluding the police, and unauthorized use of a vehicle; all but the felony charge of eluding police have been dropped. His court date has not been set.
- Yabut appeared to tweet his plan to make off with the Vietnam-era transport, posting a screenshot of a Wikipedia page showing a similar vehicle, and Google Maps, with a pin dropped on the Richmond State Capitol building — near to where the chase ended later that day.
- After his release from Central State Hospital where he was involuntarily committed after his arrest, Yabut has returned to Twitter, posting a reply on Sept. 27 to an August tweet asking, “I wonder what the Richmond Tank Man is doing.” Yabut appears to have taken issue with the moniker “tank man” which began trending after the story broke in June. It’s unclear if he prefers “M577 man,” “APC man,” or “legend.”