Whoa! A group of police officers went to deliver a standard eviction notice earlier this month — only to be faced with the wrath of a swarm of bees after a woman unleashed them to protest it!
According to court records obtained by PennLive.com on Wednesday, deputies from the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department arrived at a $1.5 million home in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, on the morning of October 12 to serve eviction papers to homeowner Alton King Jr. However, they were met with a crowd of protestors. A report from deputy sheriff Daniel H. Soto said:
“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.”
Soon, an SUV with a trailer attached pulled into the driveway, and a woman named Rorie S. Woods got out of the driver’s side of the vehicle. And the officers were not prepared for what happened next! According to the report, Daniel claimed the 55-year-old went to the back of the trailer and “started shaking bee hives to let the bees out.” What?! He continued:
“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.”
Rorie then put on a beekeeper’s outfit and freed more of the agitated bees, rolling three hives off the trailer and taking them to the entryway of the house:
“Officers at this time attempted to stop Woods but were attacked by the bees.”
Several of the cops at the scene were stung, including three people who were allergic to bees. When law enforcement tried to arrest her, Rorie resisted, but she was eventually placed in handcuffs, with many of the protestors screaming for her not to be taken into custody. The report states:
“While Woods was being escorted to the cruiser, (another deputy) advised Woods that he and several officers were allergic to bees.”
She then allegedly responded:
“Oh, you’re allergic? Good.”
Now, Rorie has been arraigned in Springfield District Court and pleaded not guilty to the felony charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and disorderly conduct. She was released without having to post bail. Sheriff Nicholas Cocchi addressed the incident, saying his Civil Process Division regularly serves eviction notices and knows the uproar it can cause for residents:
“We are always prepared for protests when it comes to evictions, but a majority of the groups who protest understand that we are just doing our statutory duty in accordance with state law. And they appreciate how we go above and beyond to help the people being evicted with anything they need from food and temporary shelter, to long-term housing, employment, and mental health and substance use disorder treatment.”
However, he slammed Rorie for putting the officers and protestors lives potentially in danger with her actions:
“This woman, who traveled here, put lives in danger as several of the staff on scene are allergic to bees. We had one staff member go the hospital, and, luckily, he was all right or she could be facing manslaughter charges. 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.”
Well, this was certainly wild! Reactions, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments below!