Soldier allegedly steals tank from U.S. army base

Soldier allegedly steals tank from U.S. army base

Soldier allegedly steals tank from U.S. army base

Police chased it for about two hours at speeds as high as 40 mph before the driver stopped and surrendered near Richmond City Hall.

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.

Virginia State Police state they were notified just before 8pm that the unarmed National Guard vehicle had left Fort Pickett.

The driver, who police later confirmed is a soldier, ended the pursuit on his own accord but was not complying with commands, and was tased, state police say. He is a former member of the Illinois National Guard and deployed with them to Afghanistan from 2008-2009.

In scenes that drew comparisons with the anarchic Grand Theft Auto videogame series, the vehicle tore through streets, ignoring traffic signals and the screaming sirens in hot pursuit.

The vehicle, which belongs to the Virginia National Guard, did not carry any weapons and drove at a maximum speed of 45 miles per hour during the pursuit, NBC Washington reported.

No crashes or injuries occurred during the incident.

The unit was conducting routine training at Fort Pickett when he drove away in the armored personnel carrier. The adult, male driver of the vehicle is now in state police custody and the incident is under investigation.

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. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, said, WTVR reported.

Yabut is being held in the Richmond City Jail. He ultimately stopped the vehicle after exiting a highway near downtown Richmond. "At least 30 police vehicles pursuing/escorting a tank", Twitter user Jacob Myers posted alongside a video of the chase.

Local media said when the man got out he was attacked by a police dog and tasered.

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