By Marty Johnson | The Hill.com |
An Arkansas man is in police custody Tuesday after allegedly attempting to blow up a vehicle at the Pentagon.
According to the Justice Department, 19-year-old Fayetteville native Matthew Dmitri Richardson was approached by a patrolling Pentagon police officer after the officer watched Richardson light a piece of fabric on fire and then put it inside the vehicle’s gas tank.
When questioned, Richardson reportedly said that he was going “blow this vehicle up [and] himself.” The officer attempted to detain Richardson, but he fled on foot towards Virginia State Route 110 and onto Virginia State Route 27, eventually jumping a fence into Arlington National Cemetery. He was later apprehended by the Pentagon Force Protection Agency Police Emergency Response Team in the vicinity of Arlington House.
Court documents that were found on Richardson reveal that he was arrested just days before on two counts of “felony assault on a law enforcement officer in Arlington County.”
The vehicle that Richardson allegedly attempted to blow up belongs to an active member of the U.S. Armed Forces who has no relation to Richardson, separate court documents show.
Richardson was set to appear in federal court at 2 p.m. He is being charged with “maliciously attempting to damage and destroy by means of fire, a vehicle used in and affecting interstate and foreign commerce.” A conviction of the crime carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison with a maximum sentence of 20 years.