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7 in Ohio charged with hate crimes in Amish hair attacks; sheriff says concerns in 3 states
MILLERSBURG, Ohio (AP) ' A sheriff says members of the Amish community in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana have been frightened by recent hair-cutting attacks.
Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla made the comment Wednesday after federal authorities raided the compound of a breakaway Amish group in eastern Ohio and charged seven men with hate crimes.
Abdalla says Amish have made hundreds of calls to authorities and have been arming themselves with pepper spray and shotguns.
Authorities say several members of the breakaway group outside Bergholtz carried out the attacks in September, October and November by forcibly cutting the beards and hair of Amish men and women and then taking photos.
The Amish believe the Bible instructs women to let their hair grow long and men to grow beards and stop shaving once they marry.