Good Amish Gone Bad
Despite their simple lifestyle and friendly nature, the Amish are not immune from troubles with the law.
1. Need for (a little) Speed
Cop chases are a media favorite as they always make for exciting television. Well, this particular chase might be the exception. Back in 2010, 17-year old Levi Detweiler ran a stop sign and was told to pull over by police. He refused and tried to evade the cops in a horse-drawn buggy. Unsurprisingly, he wasn’t successful. Police had no trouble keeping up with the Amish hellraiser, but didn’t want to engage for fear of harming him or his getaway horse.
The “thrilling” pursuit came to a sudden halt after a mile when the teenager tried to make a sharp turn and overturned his buggy. He was later charged with reckless endangerment, underage drinking, failure to stop at a stop sign and overdriving an animal.
2. Amish Bernie Madoff
The term “Amish investment banker” doesn’t get thrown out a lot these days, but it’s real. Just ask Monroe Beachy who, until 2012, had a thriving investment firm. At least, that’s what his investors thought. They were expecting to invest in a safe mortgage-backed security that was fully guaranteed by the U.S. Government. Instead, they were actually victims of a large Ponzi scheme. Beachy, or the Amish Bernie Madoff as he was dubbed by the media, got 6 and a half years in prison for defrauding 2,700 businesses and people of almost $17 million.
3. Serial Shavers
Back in 2012, an Amish group with 16 members was charged with hate crimes for targeting members of their own Amish community. The group, led by one Sam Mullet Sr., targeted people who were straying away from the community. Over the course of five attacks, Mullet and his followers assaulted men and women and shaved their beards and hair. The Ohio District Court ruled that the attacks violated hate-crime law because they were religiously motivated.
4. Breaking the Rules
Members of an Amish sect in Graves County, Kentucky were told were told to affix orange safety triangles to the back of their buggies. Eight members of that sect refused and were fined for it. With complete disregard for the law, they then refused to pay the fines. They tried playing the religion card, saying that bright colors went against their beliefs, but the judge didn’t buy it and all eight men were hit with some time in county lockup (between three and 10 days).
5. The First Amish Killer
Ok, this is actually a serious one as Edward Gingerich had the dubious distinction of being the first Amish person convicted of homicide. Back in 1993, he killed his wife in front of their children but was charged with manslaughter after the jury found him mentally ill. He spent four years in jail and then some time in a mental institution before rejoining the Amish community in 2007.