ARLINGTON, Va. (ABC7) — An Arkansas man is appearing in federal court Tuesday afternoon after he allegedly attempted to blow up himself and an active-duty servicemember’s vehicle at the Pentagon on Monday.
Nineteen-year-old Matthew Dmitri Richardson, of Fayetteville, Arkansas was arrested by police Monday and is charged with maliciously attempting to damage and destroy by means of fire, a vehicle used in and affecting interstate and foreign commerce. If Richardson is convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, according to a criminal complaint from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
The patrol officer allegedly saw Richardson in the Pentagon north parking lot standing next to a vehicle striking a cigarette lighter to a piece of fabric that was placed in the car’s gas tank, the criminal complaint states.
Richardson reportedly told the officer he was going to “blow this vehicle up and himself.” According to the criminal complaint, when the officer tried to stop Richardson, he pulled away from the officer and ran across the parking lot in the direction of Virginia Route 110 and Virginia Route 27.
The complaint states Richardson jumped over a fence into the Arlington National Cemetery but was later found by the Pentagon Force Protection Agency Police Emergency Response Team.
Officers searched Richardson and reportedly found a cigarette lighter, gloves, and court documents linked to his arrest around Feb. 22 for two counts of felony assault on a police officer in Arlington County.
Richardson tried to blow up the vehicle owned by an active-duty servicemember. The criminal complaint states the servicemember doesn’t know Richardson.