Court Records Show Man Arrested At Pentagon Was 'Just Trying To Blow Myself Up'
The Justice Department made a news release regarding the man who allegedly tried to light himself and his vehicle on fire at the Pentagon parking lot. The 19-year-old Matthew Dmitri Richardson from Fayetteville, Arkansas, was seen holding a lighter to a piece of fabric that was inserted into a gray Land Rover gas tank, later identified as an active-duty service member's vehicle.
According to the Military.com report, a Pentagon police officer patrolling the are saw the smoke and approached Richardson. Court documents report Richardson telling the officer that he was "just trying to blow himself up." The officer failed to detain Richardson who pulled away and ran from him. The surveillance video was able to capture Richardson jumping a fence and heading to the Arlington National Cemetery. He was then found near the Arlington House, the Robert E.Lee Memorial on the cemetery grounds where the members of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency Police Emergency Response Team was able to capture him.
The Justice Department announced that he is charged for maliciously attempting to damage and destroy by means of fire. Should he be convicted, he'd be facing a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of 20.
The owner of the 2016 Land Rover that Richardson tried to tamper with has no connection whatsoever with Richardson.
The police said that they've recovered a cigarette lighter, gloves and court documents from the suspect. The said court documents are actually related to his arrest only days prior, where he was charged with two counts of felony assault on a law enforcement officer in Arlington County, Virginia.
Richardson is now scheduled for his first federal court appearance on Tuesday.