A 19 year old man is being charged with attempting to blow up his car in the Pentagon parking lot on Monday morning, according to prosecutors.
Matthew Richardson was allegedly seen by a police officer putting a piece of fabric inside the gas tank of his SUV and attempting to light it on fire with a cigarette lighter. When a Pentagon police officer confronted him, Richardson allegedly told him that he was going to “blow this vehicle” and himself up. The suspect then fled.
Law enforcement agencies conducted an extensive search for Richardson before he was arrested at Arlington National Cemetery, where surveillance footage showed him jumping over a fence. (RELATED: Explosion Rocks US Embassy In Afghanistan On 9/11 Anniversary)
Arlington police officers arrived at the Arlington National Cemetery at 11 AM to search for the suspect. Later, Pentagon police, Fort Myer police, and US Park Police joined in the search, according to reports.
According to a Justice Department press release, “officers allegedly discovered 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.”
JUST IN — SUV Explosion at Pentagon thwarted, prosecutors say.
An officer allegedly observed Matthew Dmitri Richardson, 19, standing next to a vehicle striking a cigarette lighter to a piece of fabric inserted into the vehicle’s gas tank…
COMPLAINT HERE @WUSA9 #breaking pic.twitter.com/JZhFj39XSR
— Mike Valerio (@MikevWUSA) February 25, 2020
“Richardson was arrested yesterday and is charged with maliciously attempting to damage and destroy by means of fire, a vehicle used in and affecting interstate and foreign commerce,” the press release said. “If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.”