By: Savannah Smith | 07-29-2017 | News
Photo credit: Twitter | @sgtenriquez

LGTBQ Center Burned By Former User

A Phoenix man returned to an LGBTQ center not to receive services as he used to, but to set the place on fire.

Local media reported that 26-year-old Darren Beach Jr. was charged with one count of arson of an occupied structure.

Surveillance footage shows Beach entering the building, called one.n.ten, and dousing the facility with gasoline before setting it on fire on July 12.

A local Phoenix reporter Jared Dillingham posted on Twitter: “ Video of arson suspect Darren Beach igniting the OneNTen youth center, home to many at-risk/struggling kids. Police are looking for him…”

The organization released a statement regarding the arson incident and said: “Our youth whom we serve have been worried. Some are shaken.”

Beach received services from the center on and off from 2013 to just last year. He stopped receiving services from the facility when he aged out of the program at 25. The center says further that they believe Beach “has issues and needs help.”

The organization also said they didn’t see the crime coming, or that Beach could do such a thing as commit arson against them. The center said: “We had no warning signals from him throughout his time with us. There was nothing to let on that he had anything against our organization.”

One former volunteer, Ray Bradford, even vouched for Beach’s character, saying he had a “good heart.” He also added: “If he could get the counseling, the medications and food, the shelter- just get the basic things he needs, it would have changed him radically and this incident would never have happened.”

The center reported that it lost everything from the fire. The community has rallied behind the organization, however, after the crime. The center such support makes it easier for them to “move on.”

It remains unclear what drove Beach to commit the crime, and what anger or resentment he has against the center that he attempted to exact revenge against it.


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