Latest: Soldier: I was authorized to take armored vehicle

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – The Army National Guard officer accused of stealing an armored vehicle says it was part of a training exercise and that he had the authority to take it.  Joshua Philip Yabut told The Associated Press on Wednesday that his brigade commander told him to take the armored personnel carrier and drive it on a pre-planned route to gauge police response. He spoke to the AP by telephone from Virginia’s Central State Hospital.  Yabut was taken into custody Tuesday night, about two hours after police say he drove away from Fort Pickett in the carrier. The Virginia National Guard says he was charged with eluding police and unauthorized use of a vehicle.  Yabut says some of the charges against him “are just bogus.” He also says he was not under the influence of drugs as authorities have said.

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