Arkansas man arrested, charged with trying to blow up vehicle in Pentagon parking lot

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ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (KETK) – An Arkansas man has been arrested on charges related to his alleged attempt to blow up a vehicle at the Pentagon Monday.

Matthew Dmitri Richardson, 19, of Fayetteville, was discovered in the Pentagon North Parking lot yesterday morning by a Pentagon Police Officer on patrol, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The officer allegedly observed Richardson standing next to a vehicle striking a cigarette lighter to a piece of fabric that was inserted into the vehicle’s gas tank.

After the officer approached him, Richardson allegedly said he was going to “blow this vehicle up,” along with himself.

Richardson pulled away when the officer attempted to detain him and ran across the parking lot towards Virginia State Route 110 and onto Virginia State Route 27, where surveillance footage allegedly showed him jump over a fence and into Arlington National Cemetery.

Richardson was later found by the Pentagon Force Protection Agency Police Emergency Response Team near Arlington House.

A subsequent search of Richardson revealed a cigarette lighter, gloves, and court documents related to Richardson’s arrest on or about February 22 for two counts of felony assault on a law enforcement officer in Arlington County.

The owner of the vehicle Richardson is charged with attempting to blow up is an active duty service member and does not know Richardson.

Richardson is charged with maliciously attempting to damage and destroy by means of fire, a vehicle used in and affecting interstate and foreign commerce. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

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