A Massachusetts woman tried to stop an eviction by setting thousands of bees on law enforcement officers.
Rorie Woods, 55, a Hadley resident, interrupted Hampden County Sheriff deputies as they enforced an eviction at a home in Longmeadow on Oct. 12 by unleashing bees on the officers as she put a beekeeper's suit on, the sheriff's office said.
They accused Woods of "weaponizing honeybees to attack" the deputies.
Several officers were injured and one was hospitalized, authorities said.
According to the sheriff's office, while its deputies carried out the eviction that morning, Woods pulled up to the driveway of the house in her SUV, with apiaries stacked on her flatbed trailer. She got out of her car and smashed the styrofoam top of one apiary, causing the bees to fly out and sting one deputy on the face and head.
Woods then flipped another beehive shed off the flatbed. Stung by the disturbance, the bees grew angry and charged at multiple members of the sheriff's office.
Woods put on a beekeeper suit, and as she was moving a hive closer to the door of the house, deputies arrested her.
The sheriff's office said a deputy told Woods that some of them were allergic to bees.
"Oh, you're allergic?" she said. "Good."
But Woods's attorney, Stephen Newman, told BuzzFeed News that his client did not say that.
"She denies that fully," Newman said. "I talked to her about it. She said, 'I never said that.'"
When asked about the swarm of public attention on his client's protest, Newman was cagey.
"Well," he said, "it is what it is."
He declined to answer other questions about the case.
"We have a lot of work ahead of us to decide what we're going to do," he said.
Woods was charged with seven counts of felony assault and one count of misdemeanor battery. She has pleaded not guilty.
The Hampden County sheriff said Woods could have faced more serious charges if any of his deputies were severely injured.
"This woman, who traveled here, put lives in danger as several of the staff on the scene are allergic to bees," Sheriff Nick Cocchi said. "We had one staff member go to the hospital and luckily, he was alright or she would be facing manslaughter charges."
Robert Hoffman, the chief deputy of the sheriff's civil process office, said in the statement that he had never seen anything like this.
"I’m just thankful no one died because bee allergies are serious," he said.