Amish gang sought over hair-cutting assaults
By Guy Adams
2:33 PM Friday Oct 7, 2011
Local sheriff Fred Abdalla says he suspects the hair-cutting attacks are part of a dispute between rival congregations of the Amish, a fundamentalist branch of the Mennonite Church, whose followers shun modern technology. Photo / Thinkstock
Gang warfare doesn't always involve drugs, tattoos and disagreements over rap lyrics. Police in Ohio are investigating an outbreak of violence between rival factions of the Amish community suspected of breaking into homes and cutting off each other's hair.
A series of incidents across four rural counties have seen large groups of men barge into properties and drag the occupants into the street. They are then held down and attacked with scissors.
According to police reports, 27 men carried out one of the attacks, shouting that they were part of the "Bergholz clan".
The local Sheriff, Fred Abdalla, told reporters he suspected the attacks were part of a spiralling dispute between rival congregations of the Amish, a fundamentalist branch of the Mennonite Church, whose followers shun modern technology.
The removal of facial hair is particularly sensitive in the Amish community, since male members are required to have extravagant beards.
Abdalla said at least one of the attacks was masterminded by Sam Mullet, an Amish bishop whose flock is known as the Bergholz congregation.
In a Mafia-style twist, Abdalla believes that hair removed from victims was brought to Mullet, to prove the attacks had been carried out.