Arkansas man tried to blow up SUV in Pentagon parking lot, feds say

An Arkansas man was charged Tuesday with trying to blow up an SUV in a Pentagon parking lot, federal prosecutors in Virginia said.

A Pentagon police officer was on patrol just before 11 a.m. Monday when he saw Matthew Dmitri Richardson, 19, of Fayetteville, lighting on fire a piece of fabric that had been inserted into the gas tank of a 2016 Land Rover, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Eastern Virginia.

When the officer confronted Richardson, he said he was going to "blow this vehicle up" and "himself,” court documents say.

Richardson sprinted away from the officer, but was caught a short time later, according to the court documents.

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Department of Defense workers sit in the newly-renovated food court at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., on Tuesday, July 12, 2011. It took 17 years and $4.5 billion to complete the Pentagon makeover, the first full-scale renovation of one of the world's largest office buildings. Photographer: Rich Clement/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A memorial for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks stands at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., on Tuesday, July 12, 2011. The Sept. 11 attack killed 184 people, including 125 in the building and 59 on American Airlines Flight 77, and destroyed nearly all of the progress on the overhaul of the first wedge. Photographer: Rich Clement/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A newly-renovated corridor leading to a ramp is seen at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., on Tuesday, July 12, 2011. Ramps were used instead of elevators to connect floors in the original construction of the Pentagon in order to conserve steel. Photographer: Rich Clement/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A worker stands inside the newly-renovated dining room at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., on Tuesday, July 12, 2011. It took 17 years and $4.5 billion to complete the Pentagon makeover, the first full-scale renovation of one of the world's largest office buildings. Photographer: Rich Clement/Bloomberg via Getty Images
People sit in the newly-renovated food court at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., on Tuesday, July 12, 2011. It took 17 years and $4.5 billion to complete the Pentagon makeover, the first full-scale renovation of one of the world's largest office buildings. Photographer: Rich Clement/Bloomberg via Getty Images
ARLINGTON, VA - May 17: Anzus Corridor in A-Ring in the new Pentagon renovation, Tuesday May 17, 2011. (Photo by Dayna Smith/for the Washington Post)
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Federal prosecutors said the owner of the vehicle is an active duty servicemember who doesn’t know Richardson.

The suspect was charged with maliciously attempting to damage and destroy a vehicle by means of fire. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison.

Richardson's initial court appearance was slated for Tuesday afternoon, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alexandria.

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