Feb. 25 (UPI) — Police in Alexandria, Va., arrested a 19-year-old man Tuesday for allegedly attempting to “blow up” a vehicle outside the Pentagon, the U.S. Justice Department said.
Matthew Dmitri Richardson, of Fayetteville, Ark., faces charges of maliciously attempting to damage and destroy by means of a fire, a vehicle used in and affecting interstate and foreign commerce.
A Pentagon police officer said he spotted Richardson attempting to light a piece of fabric inserted into the gas tank of a vehicle parked in the Pentagon’s north parking lot. Richardson allegedly told the officer he wanted to “blow this vehicle up” as well as himself.
The officer said that when he attempted to apprehend Richardson, the suspect fled. A review of surveillance footage showed that Richardson jumped a fence into Arlington National Cemetery, where he was arrested.
Police said they found a cigarette lighter, gloves and court documents related to separate charges Richardson faces for felony assault on a law enforcement officer.
The active duty service member who owns the vehicle Richardson attempted to light on fire said he didn’t know the suspect.
If convicted, Richardson faces five to 20 years in prison.