A woman vandalized a Massachusetts church with "666" markings and tried to attack a police officer with a metal crucifix that had been donated after a baby Jesus was stolen from a nearby Nativity scene and replaced with a pig's head, authorities said.
Fifty-four-year-old Amarellis Cermeno of Haverhill was arrested on various charges, including assault with a deadly weapon, malicious destruction of property and destruction of a place of worship.
Police say they responded to La Iglesia Biblica Bautista just before 3 p.m. Tuesday for a report of vandalism, where they found "666" written in large numerals with a black marker in 15 different places on the outside of the church. A witness was able to take a photo of the suspect, who was described as a woman wheeling around a suitcase with an American flag, according to police.
Cermeno was located on Main Street at Winter Street by police as they searched the area. Police say Cermeno was carrying a large metal crucifix and tried to hit a police officer with it multiple times, but was eventually arrested.
Police discovered that the metal crucifix was stolen from the Sacred Hearts Church, which was donated after someone stole a baby Jesus statue from the Nativity scene outside and replaced it with a pig's head last week. The crucifix was one of several religious artifacts left by the Nativity scene in the wake of the theft.
Cermeno is being held without bail. A psychologist who was brought in before the hearing said Cermeno has menal health issues.
She will undergo a health evaluation.
The investigation into the stolen baby Jesus statue is ongoing.
Cermeno is due back in court Jan. 16.