U.S. man charged with trying to blow up car outside Pentagon

Feb 25 (Reuters) - A man is appearing before a federal judge on Tuesday for accusations that he attempted to blow up a vehicle at the Pentagon, according to the Justice Department.

Matthew Dmitri Richardson, a 19-year-old from Arkansas, was caught by a Pentagon police officer on Monday while he allegedly tried to blow up the car in a parking lot of the building.

Court documents state the officer observed Richardson trying to light a piece of fabric that was inserted into the car's gas tank. No explosion took place.

Richardson allegedly told the officer he was going to "blow this vehicle up." The man fled when the officer tried to arrest him and jumped over a fence into Arlington National Cemetery. He was arrested about an hour later by Pentagon security officers.

Richardson is charged with maliciously attempting to damage and destroy by means of fire, a vehicle used in and affecting interstate and foreign commerce.

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It was not immediately clear who Richardson's lawyer was.

Court documents indicate that Richardson had been arrested in a separate incident on Saturday for two counts of felony assault on a law enforcement officer in Arlington County, Virginia. (Reporting by Brad Brooks in Austin, Texas Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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