A 19-year-old Arkansas man is accused of attempting to blow up a vehicle at the Pentagon on Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release.
According to court documents from the Eastern District of Virginia, Matthew Dmitri Richardson, of Fayetteville, was expected to make an appearance in federal court Tuesday afternoon, the release said.
If convicted, officials said, Richardson faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum penalty of 20 years, WUSA reported.
JUST IN — SUV Explosion at Pentagon thwarted, prosecutors say.— Mike Valerio (@MikevWUSA) February 25, 2020
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
According to court documents, Pentagon police said Richardson tried to blow up an active-duty service member's Land Rover at about 10:55 a.m. Monday, the television station reported. The officer said a Pentagon police officer saw Richardson in the north parking lot, striking a cigarette lighter to a piece of fabric that was inserted into the Land Rover's gas tank, the news release said.
According to the release, Richardson told the officer he was going to “blow this vehicle up” and “himself." When the officer attempted to detain him, Richardson ran across the parking lot and onto a highway, where surveillance cameras subsequently revealed the man jumping over a fence into Arlington National Cemetery.
Richardson was later found by authorities near Arlington House, according to the news release.
According to court documents, officers searched Richardson and allegedly found a cigarette lighter, gloves, and court documents from his arrest around Saturday for two counts of felony assault on a law enforcement officer in Arlington County.
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