A Massachusetts woman allegedly attempting to halt an eviction is accused of "weaponizing honeybees to attack" police earlier this month.
55-year-old Rorie Susan Woods of Hadley, MA is facing four counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, three counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon, and a disorderly conduct charge, stemming from an incident on October 12.
According to police, Woods arrived on the scene as the Sheriff's Civil Process Division was enforcing a court-ordered eviction. Police say Woods did not live in the home, but was there to protest and attempt "to stop" the eviction.
Per authorities, Woods "quickly jumped out of her SUV and started trying to unleash thousands of bees in manufactured hives" located in her flatbed trailer -- while authorities "tried to stop her."
"Woods smashed the styrofoam lid to one hive tower and as the bees escaped, the deputy sustained several stings on his face and head," reads a release from Hampden County Sheriff's Department. "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
The woman is said to have eventually put on a beekeeper suit, so she could move one of the hives closer to the front door of the home. It was then she was arrested, taken into custody while wearing the suit and started "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."
After hearing a few of the deputies on the scene were allergic to bees, she allegedly responded, "Oh, you're allergic? Good." One member of the department's staff did go to the hospital, though police say "luckily, he was alright."
"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," said Sheriff Nick Cocchi in a statement.
"Never in all my years of leading the Hampden County Sheriff's Civil Process Division have I seen something like this," added Chief Deputy of the Civil Process Office Robert Hoffman. “I'm just thankful no one died because bee allergies are serious."
Woods pleaded not guilty, per The Patriot-News, and was released without posting bail. She'll appear in court at a later date.