RICHMOND, Va. — The Latest on an Army National Guard officer facing charges after driving an armored personnel carrier off a base (all times local):
A Virginia National Guard officer accused of driving an armored personnel carrier off base while under the influence of drugs insists he was ordered to do so as part of a training exercise.
1st Lt. Joshua Yabut told The Associated Press Thursday he was first told about the training exercise by his commander a week before he drove the vehicle away from Fort Pickett on Tuesday evening.
Yabut was arrested in downtown Richmond after a lengthy police chase. He said he is currently being held in a psychiatric hospital against his will.
A spokesman for the Virginia National Guard denied Yabut's claim.
Yabut said the only drug he has taken recently is a low dose of Lexapro for anxiety. He said he's taken Lexapro on and off since returning from a deployment in Afghanistan in 2009, and it's never had any behavior-altering side effects.
Court documents say a Virginia Army National Guard officer accused of driving an armored personnel carrier off a base while under the influence of drugs was glassy-eyed and disoriented when he was taken into custody.
A criminal complaint from the arresting state trooper says 1st Lt. Joshua Yabut exhibited slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet when he exited the vehicle in downtown Richmond late Tuesday night after a pursuit. It says he had no idea where he was at the time.
The complaint says Yabut had glassy eyes and dilated pupils, which the trooper wrote were indicative of opioid use.
Yabut, who spoke to The Associated Press from a psychiatric hospital, has denied that he was under the influence of drugs.
He has also said he was ordered by a superior to take the vehicle from Fort Pickett, which a Guard spokesman disputes.
A spokesman for the Virginia National Guard is refuting an officer's claim that he had been ordered by his brigade commander to drive an armored personnel carrier off base.
1st Lt. Joshua Yabut told The Associated Press he was following commands to take the vehicle as part of a training exercise to gauge the police response.
Yabut was arrested in downtown Richmond late Tuesday night after a lengthy police chase and is being held against his will in a psychiatric hospital.
Guard spokesman A. A. "Cotton" Puryear says Yabut's claim is not true. He says the officer was not authorized to drive the carrier off Fort Pickett "to any location for any reason" and there was no exercise to gauge police response.