A woman is facing several charges after unleashing a swarm of bees near deputies attempting to serve an eviction notice in western Massachusetts, authorities said.
Deputies arrived on Oct. 12 at a large, suburban home in Longmeadow to serve eviction papers, according to a news release by the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department. The woman, 55-year-old Rorie Woods, who did not live in the home, then pulled into the driveway, towing a trailer full of bee hives.
After being confronted by a sheriff’s deputy, she broke the lid on one of the hives and flipped it off of the trailer, according to the release. The bees became agitated and swarmed the area, stinging several deputies.
Woods then donned a beekeeper suit and placed a “tower of bees” near the home’s entrance in an attempt to derail the eviction, according to the release.
Upon learning that several of the deputies present at the scene were allergic to bees, Woods allegedly responded, “Oh, you’re allergic? Good,” according to Masslive.
Deputies eventually arrested Woods and transported her to the Western Mass. Regional Women’s Correctional Facility, according to the release.
Neither Woods nor her attorney could immediately be reached by McClatchy News for comment.
“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,” stated Sheriff Nick Cocchi in the release.
“Never in all my years of leading the Hampden County’s Sheriff’s Civil Process Division have I seen something like this,” stated Robert Hoffman, chief deputy of the Civil Process Division in the release.
Woods, who has cancer and lives off of disability payments, has been fighting her own eviction in court for years, according to Masslive. In 2018, she was living in a tent and said her health had worsened, following disruptions with her cancer treatment.
“The eviction process has clearly been weaponized by the courts to thwart my appeal, which has every chance of success due to case law precedent,” Woods said in a statement, according to Masslive.