19-year-old from Arkansas faces charges of trying to blow up vehicle at Pentagon parking lot

Julia LeDoux
February 25, 2020 - 4:19 pm

Department of Defense


A 19-year-old Arkansas man faces charges that he allegedly tried to blow up a vehicle in a parking lot at the Pentagon.  

According to court documents, Matthew Dmitri Richardson, of Fayetteville, Arkansas was discovered in the Pentagon North Parking lot Monday morning by a Pentagon police officer who was on patrol. The officer allegedly saw Richardson standing next to a vehicle striking a cigarette lighter to a piece of fabric that was inserted into the vehicle’s gas tank.

A release from the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia states that Richardson allegedly told the officer he was going to blow the vehicle and himself up.  When the officer attempted to detain Richardson, he pulled away and ran across the parking lot towards Virginia State Route 110 and onto Virginia State Route 27. A subsequent review of surveillance camera footage showed that Richardson jumped over a fence into Arlington National Cemetery. He was later found by the Pentagon Force Protection Agency Police Emergency Response Team near Arlington House.

After searching Richardson, officers allegedly discovered a cigarette lighter, gloves, and court documents related to Richardson’s arrest for two counts of felony assault on a law enforcement officer in Arlington County on Feb. 22.

According to court documents, the owner of the vehicle is an active duty service member who does not know Richardson.

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

`Suspicious’ person arrested in Arlington National Cemetery after fleeing Pentagon parking lot  

Reach Julia LeDoux: Julia@connectingvets.com

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