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'Joyriding' soldier denied bond for latest arrest in Richmond

Joshua Yabut Military Vehicle Chase.jpg
Posted at 1:25 PM, Mar 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-03 13:25:53-05

RICHMOND, Va. — Joshua Yabut, the soldier who drove a military vehicle from Fort Pickett to downtown Richmond in 2018, was denied bail on Thursday when he was back in court via video chat for allegedly obstructing a rescue squad vehicle.

Yabut was found not guilty by reason of insanity for charges related to the 2018 "joyride," and was granted a conditional release in January of 2020.

But police said Yabut broke that conditional release on Feb. 22 when he allegedly interfered with paramedics and firefighters who were giving aid to a woman suffering a medical emergency in the 2700 block of West Grace Street.

Yabut was charged with obstruction of a rescue squad, which is a misdemeanor.

His attorney argued Yabut has followed the Richmond Circuit Court’s conditional release requirements until this recent incident, and said that Yabut is a 14-year veteran with no flight risk.

But the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office told the judge they are worried Yabut is a danger to the community and himself right now. They asked the judge to withhold bail given the fact that his conditional release required him not to break any laws.

The judge sided with the Commonwealth, but told Yabut's attorney he can order a reconsideration for bond after Yabut receives a mental health evaluation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA).

Over the past two years, Yabut has been receiving social security benefits, and completing weekly PTSD assessments from the VA — in addition to other treatment from RBHA.

Yabut will remain in jail for now, and he will have to go before circuit court judges in Richmond and Nottoway County for violating his conditional bond.

Those dates have not been set, but a trial in the misdemeanor case is scheduled for March 25 at 10 a.m.

If Yabut is convicted, he could receive a sentence of six months in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, or both.