You want a safety brief? Because this is how you get a safety brief.
For once, it wasn’t a hammered specialist or terminal lance corporal, but a junior officer with more than a decade in the U.S. armed forces who made headlines (and, yes, definitely the local police blotter) by taking state police on a drug-fueled chase down Virginia highways in a stolen personnel carrier.
At around 7:50 p.m. on Tuesday, 1st Lt. Joshua Phillip Yabut — a 29-year-old guardsman and Afghanistan veteran with the Petersburg-based Headquarters Company, 276th Engineer Battalion, — took a joy ride in an M577 armored command vehicle, and led state police on a lengthy pursuit, the Virginia National Guard told Task & Purpose in a statement.
Apparently, Yabut's unit was conducting routine training at Fort Pickett when he absconded with the Vietnam-era armored personnel carrier. While the vehicle was not equipped with any weapons, the soldier was packing his personal firearm, though he had no ammunition.
After taking off from Fort Pickett, Yabut drove East along Route 460, then North on Interstate 95, according to Fox News. Unable to stop the vehicle, police cruisers attempted to buffer it from the front and rear, as the old tracked transport traveled more than 60 miles along city streets and state highways at its maximum speed of 40 miles per hour.
The chase ended when Yabut stopped near Richmond’s City Hall, got out of the vehicle, surrendered to police, and was promptly arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, and charged with "one felony count of eluding police and one felony count of unauthorized use of a vehicle," according to the Virginia National Guard statement.
It’s unclear at this time exactly why Yabut decided to pull a Fear And Loathing in an M577. Maybe he was tired of being passed over for a promotion, or couldn’t stand the prospect of another land-nav course.
…[Yabut] appeared to hint at his plans for the day, sharing a screenshot of a map of Capitol Square with a pin in the Capitol building paired with the Wikipedia entry for the M113 armored personnel carrier, a treaded vehicle first used in Vietnam that closely matches the description of the vehicle that stopped in the middle of Broad Street downtown.
Fortunately, nobody was injured in the pursuit. Less fortunate for Yabut, though, is that his 11-year tenure in the Guard, which included a deployment to Afghanistan from 2008 to 2009, is probably drawing to a close.
An Oregon Air National Guard F-15C Eagle that made an emergency landing on Wednesday ditched its entire arsenal of live air-to-air missiles before touching down at Portland International Airport, The War Zone reports.
President Donald Trump announced in December that he would withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, but Sen. Lindsey Graham has since made a strong push to keep a small residual force along the Turkish border along with troops from European allies.
The former Navy SEAL among a group of eight men arrested earlier this week in Port-au-Prince on weapons charges says he was providing security work "for people who are directly connected to the current President" of Haiti.
"We were being used as pawns in a public fight between him and the current Prime Minister of Haiti," said Chris Osman, 44, in a post on Instagram Friday. "We were not released we were in fact rescued."
It's a photo for the ages: a Marine NCO, a Greek god in his dress blues, catches the eye of a lovely young woman as her boyfriend urges her on in distress. It's the photographic ancestor of the much-loved "distracted boyfriend" stock photo meme, made even sweeter by the fact that this is clearly a sailor about to lose his girl to a Devil Dog.
Well, this photo and the Marine in it, which hopscotched around Marine Corps Facebook and Instagram pages before skyrocketing to the front page of Reddit on Thursday, are very real.
The photo shows then-Staff Sgt. Louis A. Capozzoli — and he is absolutely not on his way to steal your girl.