Forty-year-old man arrested for threatening leaders in Phoenix mosque


GLENDALE — Noel Thomas Becht was arrested by Phoenix Police officers after he allegedly threatened members of the United Islamic Center of Arizona.

Becht, 40, entered the house of worship at 19200 North 35th Avenue at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday, saying he was curious about the Muslim religion, police said in a news release.

He was instructed to sit in on a prayer service. Becht sat for awhile, but began wandering around, entering rooms and areas he was not permitted to be in, the police statement said.

He asked questions regarding service times at this mosque and a mosque in Tempe. When he was questioned by one of the leaders, Becht put his finger to his neck and made a sawing motion.

Becht was arrested on preliminary charges of threatening and intimidating, disorderly conduct and trespassing, and booked into the Maricopa County Jail.

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