A Massachusetts woman was charged in relation to an incident in which she is accused of releasing a swarm of bees onto deputies attempting to serve an evictions notice.
Rorie Susan Woods reportedly had multiple bees in her bonnet when she approached Hampden County deputies in the driveway of a Memery Lane home, according to court records obtained by PennLive.com.
Woods was among several protesters at the $1.5 million home where deputies attempted to serve eviction papers on homeowner Alton King Jr.
“During this time, the officers secured the premises and waited for Mr. King to return, as we were told that he was at court trying to delay the eviction,” a report authored by deputy sheriff Daniel H. Soto states.
Police said Woods emerged from the driver’s seat of an SUV towing a trailer that had pulled into the driveway of the home after protesters were already present at the scene.
“At that time a female later identified as Rorie Susan Woods exited her vehicle and went to the back of the trailer and started shaking bee hives to let the bees out,” the report states. “Deputy Michael Joslyn attempted to stop Woods who successfully freed one of the hives by breaking the cover … causing hundreds of bees to swarm around. Deputy Joslyn was stung in the face and had to retreat.”
Woods, then wearing a beekeeper’s suit, released several more hives of bees onto the driveway where the deputies were standing.
“Officers at this time attempted to stop Woods but were attacked by the bees,” the report states.
Several sheriff’s department employees were stung by bees during the incident, including three who are allergic to bees, with Woods showing zero remorse and attempting to resist arrest while being handcuffed, according to the report.
“While Woods was being escorted to the cruiser, (another deputy) advised Woods that he and several officers were allergic to bees,” the report states. Woods’ response, according to the report: “Oh, you’re allergic? Good.”
Woods pleaded not guilty to multiple felony charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (bees) before being release without having to post bail, according to court records obtained by PennLive.com.
Woods is a veteran beekeeper in Northampton, according to an op-ed she penned for the Daily Hampshire Gazette in 2021.