The Virginia National Guard first lieutenant accused of taking an armored personnel vehicle in 2018 was found not guilty by reason of insanity, according to reports.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Monday that Joshua Phillip Yabut, 30, was deemed delusional by mental health experts when he took the nearly 12-ton vehicle from Fort Pickett on a ride that ended in downtown Richmond. The Times-Dispatch reported Yabut was found not guilty by reason of insanity of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and violating the terms of his bond.
According to the Times-Dispatch, clinical psychologists determined Yabut was suffering from psychosis and not legally responsible for his actions when he led police on a 65-mile pursuit that ended near Richmond’s Capitol Square on June 5, 2018.
Task & Purpose reported that the Guard officer was live tweeting from the APC during the chase, which included video of him driving.
Fort Pickett personnel noted that Yabut was apparently “acting odd" the day of the joyride, according to the Times-Dispatch, and he later told clinical psychologists he believed he was on a confidential mission that had to be very public or he would be taken into federal custody. The Times-Dispatch also reported that Yabut believed the military and state police were “all in on it.” The Nottoway Commonwealth attorney said law enforcement found Yabut’s demeanor to be “child like” when he was arrested, according to the Times-Dispatch.
The Times-Dispatch reported that Yabut has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Yabut’s psychosis was also a factor when he traveled to Iraq in January in violation of his bond. He told a psychologist that once he was in Iraq, "he would solve everything,” according to the Times-Dispatch.
Yabut will be evaluated by state doctors to determine whether he should be committed indefinitely or released with conditions, according to the Times-Dispatch. A hearing date was set for Oct. 4.