Woman arrested after tagging church with '666', assaulting officer with crucifix
HAVERHILL, Mass. -- Police have arrested a 54-year-old woman who was allegedly witnessed writing the numbers "666" multiple times on a Haverhill church.
Amarellis Cermeno, of Haverhill, was arrested after a witness said the woman was writing "666" in black marker on La Iglesia Biblica Bautista, formerly known as Portland Street Baptist Church at 29 Portland Street in Haverhill. The number "666" is most often used as a reference to the Devil or anti-Christ in popular culture.
That witness was able to take a photograph of Cermeno, who was walking the streets with a large crucifix and wheeling around a suitcase with an American flag.
After receiving the report of the vandalism at the church, Haverhill Police were able to locate Cermeno on Main and Winter Streets Tuesday where she tried to strike a an officer, Detective Sgt. Dana Burrill, with her crucifix multiple times. Officers were able to subdue and arrest Cermeno without incident, according to the police department.
It was later determined that Cermeno's crucifix was stolen from a nativity scene that was vandalized at another Haverhill church, Sacred Hearts Church, which had the statue of a baby Jesus stolen and replaced with a pig's head Dec. 26.
It was unclear if Cermeno had anything to do with leaving the pig's head at Sacred Hearts Church or the theft of the baby Jesus statute. Haverhill Police say that investigation remains open.
Cermeno was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, malicious destruction of property over $250, disorderly conduct, destruction of a place of worship, and resisting arrest. She was held without bail and will be arraigned in Haverhill District Court Wednesday.