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Update: Woman Who Set Yoga Studio On Fire Says It Was a Sort of ‘Celebration’

in YD News, Yoga Crime

duarte-yoga-fire-mug-shotAn update to the yoga studio set on fire story.

And the plot thickens. Last Saturday night a woman broke into a yoga studio and set it on fire which left us all with so many questions. First and foremost, why would someone break into a yoga studio and try to set it on fire? The reason, we find out, is way darker and much more complex than we’d imagined.

Don’t let the smiley mug shot fool you. Since being arrested, Nancy Duarte has admitted to the above crime and has been granting interviews with local news media to tell her unfortunate story which starts way back when she was a teenager. We’ll try our best to put this in a nutshell. According to Duarte she was raped at the age of 15 by an 18-year-old acquaintance who drove her to school every day. No one believed her, including her mother, she says. Years later she says the same man and his consorts had been stalking her and harassing her by doing things like leaving dead animals at her front door, she says.

Duarte says she met with a psychotherapist and filed police reports and was advised that “it was my in my best interest to try and distance myself from the situation.” So she moved to Florida, but she says the harassment followed her. Outside of that, Duarte explains that the Secret Service had put her under protective custody: ”Unfortunately, when I got there they put me in protective custody because in four months I had four friends who were murdered and I was the only connection,” she says.

What does this have to do with the lighting a fire at a yoga studio? Duarte had begun practicing yoga to find some comfort and relief and had actually enrolled in a yoga teacher training at another studio. American Power Yoga comes into play because she believes that an acupuncturist who works there is connected to her alleged attacker. The acupuncturist’s daughter goes to the same school her attacker teaches at, she says.

“In a way, it was kind of a celebration,” Duarte says about setting the fire, which we sort of translate into more of an act of exasperation, akin to using a Voodoo doll or declaring “a plague upon both your houses!” er, yoga studios. Not intending to hurt anyone she chose a time when the place would be empty. “I waited until late at night because I did not want to hurt anyone, that was not my intention.”

As for the shooting that reportedly happened at the same studio in February, Duarte says, ”I was involved, but I was not responsible.”

Duarte does not believe she is mentally and is on no medication. She also says that she’s been alone in all of this and that her family have “all turned their backs.”

So there you have it. Perhaps that was a coconut shell? We’re not entirely sure what to make of it all. Again, glad no one was hurt. In the end, Duarte is happy her story is finally being heard. When asked about her toothy mug shot, she said, ”Why should I be angry?”

[Via Dallas Observer]

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4 comments… add one

  • VQ2

    Personally, would never resort to violence if I had a beef with some wellness practitioner.
    The adage “it’s always something” from the old Roseanne Rosannadanna (SNL back in the day) here applies. And with wellness practitioners, the adage should be amended to read, “it’s always something … personal.”

  • Luna

    I worked in a psych ward for many years and heard several stories similar to hers. She is paranoid and sick, at least from what I’ve learned. I hope she gets help & finds peace. Xo

  • S.

    This woman has the symptoms of schizophrenia, or schizoaffective disorder as defined in the DSM-V. Very fixed delusions that she act upon. She would benefit from psychiatry and case management which I am not sure are available in her area. Perhaps people who get certified in how to teach yoga should have a brief module on signs and symptoms of mental illness.

  • Karen

    The tone of this article seems insensitive. “The plot thickens”, “a plague on both of your houses…er yoga studio”, “so there you have it, perhaps in a coconut shell”? The writing is smug and somehow I feel that the writer is trying to insert comedy into a very sad situation. Bad choice.

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