Syretta Copeland, 31, was arraigned this morning in Salem District Court for Assault & Battery on a Police Officer, and is also being held in connection with Arson and Attempted Murder Charges arising out of a Dorchester fire last weekend.
According to Beverly Police, Syretta Copeland was arrested at her apartment on an outstanding Boston Police Warrant. Once at the police station, the Essex County District Attorney's Office alleges that she allegedly became combative during the booking process when she was asked to remove her jewelry. According to police, she allegedly clawed at the officer's face. Syretta Copeland, however, maintains that she only acted in self-defense as a result of the excessive force used against her by the police.
Meanwhile, Boston Police allege that Syretta Copeland allegedly set the fire to a home on Devon Street in Dorchester, which then spread to another home. Suffolk County prosecutors expect Ms. Copeland to be brought into Dorchester District Court at some point to be formally arraigned on Arson and Attempted Murder Charges.
The Massachusetts Crime of Arson is defined as the willful and malicious burning of a building or dwelling, and is punishable by up to 20 years in state prison.