Photographs courtesy of Haverhill Police Department.
A woman is due to be arraigned in Haverhill District Court this morning on vandalism and assault charges in connection with a second vandalism incident at a Haverhill church in less than one week.
Haverhill Police report 44-year-old Amarillis Cermeno, listed as homeless, was arrested at 3:35 p.m., Tuesday, on Main Street at Winter Street, after investigators responded to a reported incident at the former Portland Street Baptist Church, now known as La Iglesia Biblica Bautista. She is charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, malicious destruction of property over $250, disorderly conduct, destruction to a place of worship and resisting arrest.
According to detective Lieutenant Robert Pistone, Haverhill Police spokesperson, detectives and a patrolman responded to a report an individual had written “666” on the church exterior in numerous places, in large numbers with a black marker. A witness had taken a picture of the suspect, described as a female wheeling a suitcase with the American flag. During a search, investigators located Cermeno, who was carrying a large crucifix, and attempted to strike a detective with it multiple times. Investigators were able to take Cermeno into custody without further incident.
Pistone said a subsequent investigation revealed the metal crucifix wielded by Cermeno was one that an anonymous person had donated and placed in the nativity display at Sacred Hearts Church in the Bradford section, subsequent to the theft of the baby Jesus last week. That investigation remains open.
Cermeno has been held without bail pending today’s court arraignment.