A man is jailed on a charge of terroristic threat Wednesday after threatening to impose the death penalty on several people who refused to take copies of the Quran, Denton police say.
Peshwaz Azad Waise, 28, was arrested just after 8 a.m. outside of the Denton County Courthouse after several run-ins with police that morning and the night before.
Denton police said officers responding to a call for assistance Tuesday night were stopped by Waise, and that he was speaking irrationally and making comments about God and Allah. Since Waise was not in violation of any law, the officers continued responding to the initial call for help, police said.
Police with the University of North Texas were later called to a disturbance at the IHOP restaurant on the southeast side of campus where they found Waise speaking “irrationally.” Police didn’t reveal what he said, but they did confirm he was issued a notice of trespass and asked to leave UNT property.
Wednesday morning, police said Waise went into the Texas Health Presbyterian Denton Center for Women at 207 North Bonnie Brae and insisted those inside take the Quran from him and to give it to the Chaplin “or die.” According to his arrest affidavit, Waise also told an employee that the hospital would “go down.”
The police were called, but Waise left before officers arrived.
Waise was next spotted at the Denton County Courthouse where, while passing through security, he began to raise his voice loud enough to draw the attention of deputies, according to Orlando Hinojosa, public information officer for the Denton Police Department.
In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, police said Waise told deputies he was “the king” and that he became agitated as he was escorted out of the building and detained. Police said it was then that Waise told the deputies detaining him, “I’m imposing the death penalty.”
He later told the deputies that “anybody who touches me is going to bleed,” according to police.
A warrant for Waise’s arrest was secured and he was taken into custody and transferred to the Denton County Jail on a charge of terroristic threat.
Hinojosa said there was never any mention of a bomb or threatening material being in Waise’s car and that it was searched only as a precaution.
Bomb sniffing dogs and a robot were brought in to search the car, which had Virginia license plates, but nothing was found. An officer drove it away when clearing the scene just before noon.
Allison Mahan with the FBI confirms the bureau is in contact with local law enforcement as the investigation into the situation proceeds.
At this point, it is unclear why Waise was in North Texas as he does not appear to have ties to the area. According to his passport, he was born in Iraq.
The investigation into the incidents are ongoing.