Police arrest man suspected of setting fire at Phoenix LGBTQ youth centerPosted: Updated:
Phoenix police arrested a 26-year-old man accused of torching the LGBTQ youth center where he once received services.
Friday afternoon, police announced that Darren Beach Jr. had been taken into custody at his apartment without incident. He was booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on one count of arson of an occupied structure.
Beach's bond was set at $25,000 dollars, according to his initial court appearance video.
[MUG SHOT: Darren Beach]
Police identified Beach as the man seen in surveillance video dousing the one.n.ten youth center with a can of gasoline July 12, just seconds before the building erupted into flames.
[RAW VIDEO: Darren Beach's initial court appearance]
Beach had received services on and off at the non-profit for homeless and LGBTQ youth from 2013 until 2016.
"We were shocked and dismayed and hurt," Linda Elliot, one.n.ten executive director said.
[RAW VIDEO: Suspect starts fire using gasoline at youth center]
Ray Bradford, a former volunteer at the youth center, said he has known Beach for years.
"It was always clear to me that Darren had a good heart," he said. "He had a sense of right and wrong. He wanted people to be right with each other."
However, he said things really went wrong for Beach when he turned 25 and became ineligible for services. He said he saw Beach just a week or two before the fire, and he appeared to be living on the streets and under the influence of drugs.
"I realized pretty quickly, he was hallucinating," he said. "He was delusional."
"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 never would have happened," he said.
one.n.ten has since moved to the Parsons Center for Health & Wellness building on Central Avenue north of Roosevelt. The community has been rallying to help the center, and donations have been pouring in.
Nate Rhoton, director of Finance and Operations, said they lost everything in the fire and have been overwhelmed by the amount of support.
They're getting a range of items from toiletries to nonperishable food to camping supplies.
"It's really been incredible," said Rhoton, who explained he has never seen so many donations in this time frame come in at once. "To experience that sort of love and acceptance from the community makes it just a little bit easier to swallow what's happened to us, to this safe space for our youth and make it a little bit easier for them to move on."
Darren Beach Jr. was booked into the 4th Ave Jail by the Phoenix Police Dept. today as a suspect of an arson from July 12th in Phoenix pic.twitter.com/3UvF2UVGFL— @SgtJEnriquez (@SgtJEnriquez) July 29, 2017
BREAKING- OneNTen youth center fire was arson, not an accident. Fire investigators need your help finding 26yo Darren Beach Jr. pic.twitter.com/MsgnPKcbyh— Jared Dillingham (@JaredDillingham) July 26, 2017
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