Hair attacks force Amish to seek outside help

Sam Mullet stands in front of his Bergholz, Ohio home on Oct. 10, 2011. The leader of a breakaway Amish group, Mullet said an attack on fellow Amish in which a man's beard was cut off was a religious issue stemming from long-standing resentment of his group's treatment. Mullet said the goal was to send a message to Amish in Holmes County that they should be ashamed of themselves for the way they were treating Mullet and his community.
AP Photo/Amy Sancetta

CARROLLTON, Ohio - Prosecutors in Ohio are continuing their investigation into hair-cutting attacks against several Amish people with assistance from members of the deeply private religious group.

It's unusual but not unheard of for the Amish to enlist the help of law enforcement.

The Amish believe they must be forgiving and often times that means handing out their own punishment and not reporting crimes to law enforcement.

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Authorities in Ohio say the Amish turned to them because they didn't think the attacks could be stopped any other way.

Five men from a breakaway Amish group have been charged with forcefully cutting the beards and hair of several Amish men and women in recent weeks.

Beards are held in high esteem within in the Amish community. They're grown and kept long based on Biblical teachings.