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Crime

Man suspected of setting fire to LGBT centre in Phoenix arrested

Meka Beresford July 30, 2017
arizona lgbt youth centre fire

(Phoenix Fire Department)

A man suspected of setting fire to an LGBT centre in Phoenix, Arizona has been arrested.

26-year-old Darren Beach Jr. was taken into jail on Friday afternoon on suspicion of arson.

arizona lgbt youth centre fire
(Phoenix Fire Department)

It comes after the one.n.ten centre was doused in a flammable liquid, likely petrol, and set alight earlier this month on July 12.

Officials of the centre have said that Beach used to be a participant in the programme but was no longer eligible for services when he turned 25.

The centre serves LGBT people aged between 14 and 24.

In the fire, they lost electronic equipment, food, personal hygiene products, camping equipment and other vital resources.

In a shocking video released by the Phoenix Fire Department, the suspect can be seen leaving the building just before it went up in flames.

No-one was harmed in the attack on the charity.

One.n.ten executive director Linda Elliott told local news site azcentral.com that she was shocked as Beach used to take part in programmes.

Because he is a previous participant, police are not treating the incident as a hate crime.

Elliott said her first reaction to the video was “shock”.

“I mean, it’s one thing to have a fire, but it’s a lot more traumatising to have an arson,” she added.

arizona lgbt youth centre fire
(Phoenix Fire Department)

It is unclear what will be covered by the institution’s insurance, however, they have had an out pouring of generosity from the local community.

“It’s just been an incredible response from the community,” said Elliott.

“From the next day until today, people have just been streaming in here, making donations, bringing supplies, buying things.”

It won’t be long until the centre is back on track either, as Elliot explained that they had begun building work on a new youth centre in June and the work should be finished by September.

More: Arizona, arrest, arson, fire, LGBT, one.n.ten, Phoenix, US, US

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