Screenshot: Parker Slaybaugh (Twitter)

I’m a man who enjoys the simple things in life: a cold beverage on a hot day; reading spoilers for horror movies I have no intention of actually watching (hellooooo Hereditary); and—of course—seeing a heavily armored military vehicle just fucking book it down a city street in the middle of a Blues Brothers-esque car chase with the cops. Incidentally, that’s exactly what happened this week in Virginia:

Wheeeee!

While the actual incident took place four whole days ago (truly, a lifetime online) it’s managed to leave a lasting impression on me since, in no small part because things have gotten even crazier since then. And reader? I love it!

First, the chase itself:

On June 5, Joshua Yabut—a First Lieutenant with the Virginia National Guard—absconded from Fort Pickett in “armored personnel carrier” which the Army was quick to note “is not equipped with any weaponry and is NOT a tank.” But rather than just take the APC for a quick spin and put it back where he found it, Yabut cruised around for two hours in his new whip, surrounded by cops and stunning onlookers.

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Oh, and he was tweeting the whole time. Like this video from inside the tank-that-is-technically-NOT-a-tank:

And the fact that Wu Tang is for the kids:

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Two hours later, Yabut was pulled over and arrested by the Virginia state police.

Once he’d been taken into custody, the state police announced that not only had Yabut stolen a faux-tank, but he was allegedly high as shit at the time, too. He was subsequently charged with a felony count of eluding police, and another for unauthorized use of a vehicle.

But wait, there’s more!

On Thursday, two days after he was booked into Richmond City Jail, Yabut added another amazing layer to this already messed-up trifle by claiming that, actually, he hadn’t “stolen” the extremely-NOT-a-tank at all; he’d been ordered by his Army superiors to take it.

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Fuck. Yes.

“I didn’t want to do it, but I believed it was a lawful order,” Yabut told the Associated Press. “As a commissioned officer I was required to do so.”

Yabut—who has a history of involving himself in some pretty fucked up causes—insisted that the order came through “coded military language” (??) and was intended to gauge police readiness (??????). He also said that there were no drugs in his system except for a low dose of Lexapro, prescribed to him after he’d returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2009.

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“I didn’t just run in to an APC and drive it off,” Yabut told the AP. “It was prepped. It was prepared with 60 miles of fuel and soldiers assisted with the preparation.”

So, to recap:

  • Guy steals not-tank, and takes it out for a spin.
  • Guy live-tweets his joyride.
  • Guy is arrested for driving hella stoned.
  • Guy claims he was actually ordered by the Army to troll cops into chasing him.

Folks, America is already great. Have a nice weekend everyone!