An Arkansas man tried to blow up a car parked at the Pentagon Monday by lighting a piece of fabric shoved into a gas tank, authorities said.
According to federal court documents, a Pentagon police officer spotted Matthew Dmitiri Richardson, 19, standing next to a Land Rover in the parking lot. The officer spotted smoke coming from a piece of fabric on the ground.
The officer said Mr. Richardson, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, was trying to ignite another piece of fabric inserted into the gas tank.
“Richardson told me he was going to ‘blow this vehicle up’ and ‘himself,’ ” according to court documents filed in the case.
The owner of the sports utility vehicle is in the military and told police he didn’t know Mr. Richardson.
Mr. Richardson pulled free and ran away when the Pentagon police officer tried to grab him. Surveillance video cameras later spotted him climbing a fence into Arlington National Cemetery, according to court documents.
He was later discovered near Arlington House inside the cemetery grounds. Police found gloves and a lighter along with court documents about other criminal charges filed against him for assaulting a law enforcement officer in Arlington County.
Mr. Richardson was charged in the Eastern District of Virginia with “maliciously (attempting) to damage and destroy by means of fire a vehicle used in and affected interstate and foreign commerce,” according to court documents.
If convicted, he could be sentenced to 20 years in prison.
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