Share this story...
Latest News

Arizona woman sentenced to probation for Tempe mosque burglary

Elizabeth Dauenhauer (Tempe Police Department photo)

PHOENIX — An Arizona woman was sentenced to probation on Thursday for burglarizing a mosque in Tempe earlier this year as her and a second woman filmed themselves making derogatory comments about Muslims.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Mark Brain sentenced Elizabeth Dauenhauer to 18 months of supervised probation and 200 hours of community service.

“I am very sorry for the people I hurt,” she said.

Dauenhauer pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal damage last month.

Dauenhauer and Tahnee Gonzales were arrested earlier this year after a Facebook video of them uttering anti-Muslim vitriol while removing flyers and brochures from the Islamic Community Center near Mill Avenue and University Drive went viral.

The video was posted on Facebook on March 4 but was later removed. Snippets (WARNING: LINK CONTAINS FOUL LANGUAGE) of it were reposted by others on the social media site.

In the video, Dauenhauer refers to Muslims as Satan-worshippers and claimed the mosque had pamphlets on Islamic training camps in America and tips on getting more government assistance.

Dauenhauer stated the intent to take pamphlets from the mosque. “And there’s nothing they can do about it,” Dauenhauer said. In one clip taken in the courtyard, Dauenhauer holds a child in one hand as she takes away pamphlets with the other hand.

When standing on the mosque’s lawn, Dauenhauer snapped a photo of the children and Gonzales sitting atop a wall around the building, with their thumbs pointed downward in disapproval.

Later, one of the children climbed on the bumper of a funeral services van in the mosque’s parking lot, looking into the vehicle as Dauenhauer and Gonzales told the boy to get off bumper.

“Muslims have been on there,” Dauenhauer told the boy.

Gonzales does most of the talking during the 23-minute video. She said complains about Sharia law and said Muslims engage in bestiality and are destroying America.

When she sees a no-guns sign on a gate on mosque property, Gonzales said, “Ahhh, but they carry around AKs and kill people all the time.”

Near the end of the video, the two women, children and their dogs stood in the parking lot as a man exited the mosque.

One of the dogs trotted over to the man, who, in response to a question from Gonzales, later identified himself as a practicing Muslim.

“Stay away from our dogs, please. Don’t eat them,” Gonzales told the man, prompting guffaw from Dauenhauer.

“Really?” the man responded, later explaining that he was trying to be peaceful and didn’t understand what Gonzales was talking about.

Gonzales kept yelling insults at the man as the shouting match continued.

Gonzales faces a disorderly conduct charge for allegedly using abusive language toward a person at the mosque.

The parents of the three children who were with the two women at the mosque haven’t been publicly identified by authorities.

Even so, Gonzales faces three misdemeanor charges of permitting life, health and morals of a minor to be imperiled by neglect, abuse or immoral associations. She was scheduled to go on trial on Dec. 11.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Show Podcasts and Interviews

Reporter Stories