Amish Seek Help Over Hair, Beard Attacks
Five men arrested in hirsute crime spree
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2011 4:35 PM CDT
From left, Levi Miller, Johnny Mullet, and Lester Mullet, of Bergholz, Ohio. These men and two others suspected of forcefully cutting the beards of fellow Amish were arraigned on Oct. 12, 2011.   (AP Photo/Jefferson County Sheriffs Department, File)
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(Newser) – America's Amish have rarely gone to police for help—only over extreme cases like murder, rape, or a multi-million-dollar investment deal gone wrong. Now Amish leaders in Ohio are bending their rules and cooperating police to stop a spate of hair-cutting attacks, the AP reports. Five men from a breakaway Amish group southeast of Cleveland have been arrested for holding down victims and cutting their long hair and beards.

The deeply religious Amish, who grow their hair and beards after marriage, normally mete out justice in their communities or forgive their enemies. But this time, "they didn't feel they could get it stopped any other way," a sheriff says. The leader of the breakaway sect denies ordering the attacks, but blamed them on criticism from other Amish leaders. Says the wife of one victim: "This is not for revenge. We don't believe in fighting. We do believe in turning the other cheek."