Your Military

Suspect in attempted Pentagon parking lot bombing appears in court

A 19-year-old Arkansas man arrested in Arlington National Cemetery on Monday is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday to face charges related to an alleged attempt to blow up a service member’s car in the Pentagon parking lot.

Matthew Dmitri Richardson told a Pentagon police officer who approached him Monday morning after some suspicious behavior that he intended to blow up the vehicle and himself, according to a Tuesday Justice Department release.

“I was just trying to blow myself up," Richardson told officers upon his arrest, according to court documents.

Matthew Dmitri Richardson, 19, was charged with maliciously attempting to damage and destroy by means of fire, a vehicle used in and affecting interstate and foreign commerce in connection with a vehicle parked in the Pentagon parking lot.
Matthew Dmitri Richardson, 19, was charged with maliciously attempting to damage and destroy by means of fire, a vehicle used in and affecting interstate and foreign commerce in connection with a vehicle parked in the Pentagon parking lot.

Just before 11 a.m. Monday, a Pentagon Force Protection Agency officer on patrol in the building’s north parking lot saw smoke rising from a burned piece of fabric on the ground next to a Land Rover, according to an affidavit.

“I also observed an individual, whom I later identified as Richardson, standing next to the vehicle striking a cigarette lighter to a piece of fabric that was inserted into the vehicle’s gas tank,” the officer wrote.

The officer tried to grab Richardson by the wrist, but he took off running toward a nearby highway. Surveillance video showed him hopping a fence into Arlington National Cemetery, where he was tracked down and arrested at 12:15 p.m.

The vehicle’s owner did not know Richardson, he wrote.

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

Officers found a cigarette lighter and gloves in Richardson’s car, according to the affadavit, as well as court documents related to a Saturday arrest for two counts of assaulting a law enforcement officer in Arlington County, Virginia.

Recommended for you
Around The Web
Comments