Sting operation: Protester unleashes swarms of excited bees on sheriff’s deputies

On October 12, the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department (HCSD) dispatched representatives from the Civil Process Division to 49 Memery Lane in Longmeadow, Massachusetts to enforce a court-ordered eviction. At around 9:15 a.m., 55-year-old Rorie Susan Woods pulled up in her Nissan Xterra, towing a trailer full of beehives. Despite all the honey she was hauling, Woods was anything but cute.

Woods was reportedly not living in the 22-room, $1.5 million residence that the Sheriff’s Department (HCSD) has been in various stages of eviction for over two years. MassLive reported that it was alternatively owned by Alton King Jr. Despite this, Woods was keen to prevent the eviction.

The HCSD said that upon arrival, Woods jumped out of her vehicle and threw herself onto the pickup truck behind it, which had towers of beehives on it. She immediately began shaking the towers, unleashing a multitude of honey bees that proved keen on violence as opposed to pollination.

When Deputy Michael Joslyn tried to stop them, Woods allegedly smashed the Styrofoam lid on a beehive tower. More bees swarmed out, several of them stinging the deputy in the face and head.

Woods flipped another tower. The unfriendly disturbance enraged the bees, who darted out and stung several more members of the HCSD.

Amid the frenzy, Woods managed to don a beekeeping suit. Their supposed aim: to barricade the front door. According to Deputy Sheriff Daniel H. Soto, Woods managed to cart three more hives to the entrance.

Despite the frantic swarm of stinging bees, deputies managed to get Woods to the ground and handcuff her, restoring some semblance of order.

Once in HCSD custody, Woods was told that several of the MPs were in fact allergic to bees, to which she reportedly replied, “Oh, you’re allergic? Good.”

Sheriff Nick Cocchi stated that one employee was taken to the hospital.

“Fortunately, he was fine, otherwise she would be charged with manslaughter,” Cocchi said. “I support people’s right to protest peacefully. But if you cross the line and put my staff and the public at risk, I promise you will be arrested.”

Robert Hoffman, chief deputy of the Civil Process Office, said: “In all my years managing the Hampden County Sheriff’s Civil Process Division, I’ve never seen anything like it. … I’m just thankful that no one has died from bee allergy and they’re serious.”

Woods faces multiple felonies, including assault and assault with a dangerous weapon, and a misdemeanor charge. She was released without bail after being charged.

The honey bees paid the price for Woods’ actions. Thousands were killed.

The Boston Herald reported that Woods had been evicted from her home in Hadley, Massachusetts in 2018. Although she was ill with cancer, she ended live in a tent on a friend’s property.

in a (n interview Conducted at the time of their eviction, Woods said, “If we lose, we’re on the road.”

The HCSD emphasized that it has no jurisdiction over eviction decisions, which falls within the purview of the courts, and that it offers help to displaced persons with job placement, mental health and substance abuse issues.

Hoffman stated, “We’re really trying to help everyone that we court-ordered to be evicted, and the New York Times even documented the sheriff’s humane eviction process during the pandemic. …such extreme measures in the future because they will be charged and prosecuted.” Sting operation: Protester unleashes swarms of excited bees on sheriff’s deputies

Laura Coffey

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