Police say that a Massachusetts woman was arrested for unleashing bees upon deputies at her home during an enforcement of evictions.
Rorie Susan Woods (55), of Hadley was taken into custody after she allegedly attacked cops with a swarm bees. WCVB reported.
Woods was driving a Nissan Xterra in blue and towing manufactured bee hives with her SUV behind it, as the Longmeadow deputies were enforcing evictions.
Cops believe that Woods then released the bees.
“Woods smashed the styrofoam lid to one hive tower and as the bees escaped, the deputy sustained several stings on his face and head. She then flipped the entire hive tower off of the flatbed, causing the bees to become extremely agitated, and swarm the area, stinging several members of the Sheriff’s Office,”Hampden County Sheriff’s department In a statement.
“As she donned a beekeeper suit and moved a hive close to the door of the home, deputies swooped in and arrested her. As she was taken into custody, she was yelling for another protester to take care of her dog, which she said was unfed, and left in the SUV with thousands of bees swarming outside of it,”The department wrote.
“To be clear, Woods does not live in the Longmeadow home, which has been in various stages of the eviction process for around two years,”They went on. “Woods was attempting to stop the court-ordered eviction, but she failed. She did, however, cause injuries to several employees of the department including one staff member who was hospitalized after being stung.”
The department said that a deputy told Woods that he and several of his fellow deputies were allergic to bees.
According to the department, she said: “Oh, you’re allergic? Good.”
She was charged with four counts for felony assault and battery using a dangerous tool, three counts for felony assault with the dangerous weapon, and disorderly behavior, which is a misdemeanor.
“We are always prepared for protests when it comes to evictions, but a majority of the groups who protest understand that we are just doing our statutory duty in accordance with state law,” Cocchi said. “The woman who came here put lives at risk as many of the workers are allergic to bees. One staff member was admitted to the hospital. If she were not, she would have been facing manslaughter charges. I support people’s right to protest peacefully but when you cross the line and put my staff and the public in danger, I promise you will be arrested.”
Officials said that the incident resulted in the deaths of thousands of honeybees. “People in the neighborhood who are allergic to bees were put at risk for no good reason,”According to the sheriff’s department.
Woods remains in custody and has not yet entered a plea, officials told Inside Edition Digital. Woods’ attorney has not responded to a request for comment.
Woods was one of many protestors who gathered outside the 22-room, $1.5 million house to stop the homeowner being evicted. Yahoo! News reported.
Evictions are decided by the courts, not the sheriff’s department.
“When the Sheriff’s Office gets a first notice relative to an eviction (called a Notice to Quit), well ahead of any actual removal, we reach out to the person and ask how we can help. Our staff offers assistance with everything that can lead someone to an eviction,”The department wrote. “We’ve offered those services to the former homeowner, and the offer for help remains, even after the attack. And following an eviction, we never leave anyone to be homeless or sleep in a car. Through our All-Inclusive Support Services center in Springfield, we use our relationships with local property owners, housing authorities and landlords to get people into safe and stable housing, and we ensure they have the employment opportunities to be able to pay rent to maintain it.”
“Never in all my years of leading the Hampden County Sheriff’s Civil Process Division have I seen something like this,”Robert Hoffman, Chief Deputy for the Civil Process Office. “We truly try to help everyone we are court-ordered to evict and the New York Times even documented the Sheriff’s humane eviction process during the pandemic. I’m just thankful no one died because bee allergies are serious. I hope that these out-of-county protesters will reconsider using such extreme measures in the future because they will be charged and prosecuted.”