Man accused of setting fire to Phoenix LGBTQ Youth Center has been arrested

- A man accused of setting fire to the one·n·ten LGBTQ youth center in Phoenix in early July has been arrested.

According to Captain Reda Bigler with Phoenix Fire Department Friday afternoon, Darren William Beach, Jr. was arrested at his apartment, following a joint investigation involving Phoenix Fire Arson investigators and the Phoenix Police Department.

Beach, according to Cpt. Bigler, was booked into the 4th Avenue Jail on a count of alleged arson of an occupied structure.

The fire at the LGBTQ youth center, according to officials, took place at around 11:00 a.m. on July 12. At first, Phoenix Fire officials said the fire was suspicious, but later backed away from the claim. On Wednesday, Phoenix Fire officials issued a statement, saying that recovered video evidence led to the discovery of arson.

Fire officials also said on Wednesday that the arson incident in question was not a hate crime incident, as the suspect used to be a client of the center's services.

Beach Jr. was a former member of the LGBT youth center, which provides programs and services for youth in need. Beach Jr. aged out at the age of 25.

"He's obviously troubled in some way," said Linda Eilliot, Executive Director with one·n·ten. "We just hope he gets the help and peace that any youth deserves."

Elliot said the arson was hard on current members.

"This is their safe place. This is where they come to to feel safe and loved with their friends, and when one of the former participants is responsible, there's additional trauma," said Elliot.

Elliot went on to say if there was a silver lining to the fire, it was the outpouring of support.

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

More from FOX 26 Houston