On October 12, police in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, attempted to serve an eviction notice but were rebuffed by a furious lady. Rorie Susan Woods, however, instead of using words or physical force, employed bee swarms that she had brought to the location in crates to assault the cops.
As the eviction was taking place, according to CBS News, Woods approached the Longmeadow residence. She turned around and returned to the crates she had behind her truck, leaving her dog in it as she started tearing apart the crates. Soon, the air was filled with hordes of agitated, buzzing bees.
Sheriff Nicholas Cocchi of Hampden County said in a statement, “A Sheriff’s deputy tried to stop her, but as the agitated bees started getting out and circling the area, he pulled back.”
Cocchi continued, “She then smashed the lid, and flipped a hive off of the flatbed, making the bees extremely aggressive. They swarmed the area and stung several officers and other innocent bystanders who were nearby.”
Woods put on a beekeeper’s uniform as the police dispersed. She then attempted to halt the eviction, which Boston 25 reports has been going on for almost two years, by carrying a “tower of bees” to the front door. The swarms of agitated bees continued to attack anyone within stinging distance in the meantime. The Washington Post said that many onlookers, three deputies, and a sheriff’s office photographer all had stings to their cheeks, hands, and heads. Two deputies were ultimately able to drag Woods to the ground and take her into custody. One of the deputies reprimanded her as they led her to a police cruiser while she was still dressed in her beekeeping outfit. He mentioned that a few of the cops had bee allergies.
“Oh, you’re allergic?” The Washington Post said that Woods apparently responded, “Good.”
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Woods was accused of four counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, and one count of disorderly conduct.
“We had one staff member go the hospital and luckily, he was alright or she would be facing manslaughter charges,” Cocchi stated. “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.”
Robert Hoffman, the department’s top deputy in charge of the Civil Process Office said, “Never in all my years of leading the Hampden County Sheriff’s Civil Process Division have I seen something like this.” He added, “I’m just thankful no one died because bee allergies are serious.”
Although she fought her own eviction in 2018, it’s unclear whether Woods is acquainted with the resident of the 7,900-square-foot colonial with five bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms, which is valued at roughly $1.3 million. She had come from somewhere else, in fact, according to both Hoffman and Cocchi, to oppose the eviction.
“[T]his woman, who traveled here, put lives in danger as several of the staff on scene are allergic to bees,” Cocchi stated.
And Hoffman continued, “I hope that these out-of-county protesters will reconsider using such extreme measures in the future because they will be charged and prosecuted.”
Woods was lodged at the Western Massachusetts Regional Women’s Correctional Facility after being detained. According to The Washington Post, she was charged, arraigned, and freed later that day with a commitment to appear at future sessions. Woods’ bees’ whereabouts are unknown. According to The Washington Post, its owner has entered a not guilty plea to all allegations and has not made any public statements regarding her current legal matter.
Featured Image screengrab from embedded Tweet.