Teen Arrested Outside Pentagon After Allegedly Attempting to Blow Himself Up

A 19-year-old was arrested outside the Pentagon on Monday, who told the responding officers that he was "just trying to blow myself up." Matthew Richardson was arrested and a criminal complaint was filed against him, stating he was "maliciously" trying to "damage and destroy" a vehicle while it was parked outside the Pentagon in Alexandria, VA. As reported by PEOPLE, Richardson was stopped after Pentagon police officer Michael Landry spotted him trying to light a piece of fabric hanging outside of a gas tank.

After the officer approached Richardson, the teenager allegedly said that he was going to blow up both the gray Land Rover as well as himself. The vehicle itself belongs to an active-duty service member who is currently assigned to the Pentagon. The service member told the officer that he didn't know who Richardson was.

Landry then approached Richardson and managed to grab his wrist before he fled on foot, then hopped the fence over to nearby Arlington National Cemetery. He was apprehended roughly an hour later, repeating his claim to officers that he "was just trying to blow myself up."

Richardson was also carrying court documents indicating that he had been arrested on Feb. 22 in Arlington County, VA and charged with two counts of felony assault on a law enforcement officer.

According to CBS News, Richardson is currently being held by the Arlington County Sheriff's office, where he's been charged with one count of maliciously attempting to damage and destroy by means of fire a vehicle used in and affecting interstate and foreign commerce, a charge that carries with it a minimum sentence of five years in prison.

The Department of Justice has also released a statement indicating that Richardson was due in court on Monday, although it's unclear if he has professional legal representation.


Back in July, the Pentagon had to issue a stern warning against a potential planned raid of Area 51 in the Nevada desert. Over the summer, a Facebook event titled "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us," went viral, which had the military's headquarters on edge over the very real possibility of something going very wrong.

While Area 51 has long been the epicenter of alien-enthusiasts everywhere, it was revealed in 2017 that the Pentagon had actually studied UFOs quite a bit up until 2012.