Sunday, September 16, 2012

The horrifying moment 'Amish beard cutters chopped off bishop's beard in brutal hate crime'

This picture shows the horrifying moment an Amish man grabbed the long, white beard of a 79-year-old Amish bishop in eastern Ohio and used his other hand to violently slice it off. The attacker in the image has been identified as defendant Johnny Mullet, the son of the alleged ringleader of a series of vicious beard-cutting ambushes on members of the community last year. As he chopped off the beard of Raymond Hershberger, pictured trying to push away his attacker, the bishop's wife screamed and a boy cried: 'Don't cut grandpa's beard,' according to his attorney. The image, which has now been released by the U.S. attorneys office, paints a horrifying picture of the fear inflicted by 16 aggressors by a breakaway Amish group. The sixteen defendants are accused of hate crimes in hair-cutting attacks on nine fellow Amish due to religious differences. Andy Hershberger testified that his father pleaded for the men not to shear him. But within minutes, the hair from his father's beard had been cut and scattered across the floor. He said clumps of hair were missing from his father's head and his scalp was bleeding. Hersherger described a chaotic scene, with the men holding him, his father, Raymond, and his brother down while his father was sheared Prosecutors say his father, Raymond Hershberger, was targeted because he was among several bishops who had religious disagreements with Mullet. For the Amish, hair holds religious significance as Amish women do not cut their hair and the men do not cut their beards after marriage Mullet had come to the attention of the bishops because, according to witnesses at his trial, there were concerns he was brain-washing community members. Prosecutors would later say he forced men to sleep in chicken coops as punishment, and one woman testified that Mullet coerced women at his settlement into having sex with him so he could turn them into better wives. Read more:

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