A Massachusetts woman is accused of releasing a swarm of bees on Hampden County Sheriff’s Deputies who were attempting to serve an eviction notice on October 19.
According to the sheriff’s department, the deputies serving the notice were confronted with a crowd of protesters gathered outside a home in the town of Longmeadow.
Police said protester Rorie S. Woods, 55, pulled up to the house in a truck carrying a trailer full of beehives, and that’s when the chaos unfolded.
Woods allegedly began to shake the containers with the hives and broke the cover off of one, causing a swarm of bees to attack the deputies who were fighting with Woods for control of the containers.
Woods, who was wearing a beekeeper’s suit for protection, started shaking one of the hives at the front door of the house, releasing more bees on the responding deputies.
Woods was eventually arrested, but not before a handful of deputies were stung. The arrest report noted that three police officers were allergic to bee stings.
When officers told Woods about the allergies, she replied, “Oh, you’re allergic? Good.”
Hampden County Sheriff Robert Hoffman said the incident was unusual.
“I’ve been doing this for 17 years. I try my best to size up the different situations we walk into each day. . . . It was Ms. Woods’s arrival with her vehicle and trailer that caused things to go haywire, if you will,” Hoffman said.
Woods pleaded not guilty at her arraignment and was released without bail. She was charged with four counts of battery and assault with a dangerous weapon.
Hoffman added that evictions do not usually lead to violent encounters.
“I would say the occasions of violence are rather rare. We like to chalk that up as due to our outreach and the relationship that we try to build with people who are on the cusp of being evicted,” Hoffman explained.
Woods could have potentially faced more serious charges if any of the officers had been seriously hurt.
One of the deputies who was allergic to bee stings was stung and had to be transported to a hospital, but was released later that day.