Ohio sheriff files charges after Amish hold large barn party

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Police in Northeast Ohio broke up a large gathering of Amish people over the weekend after a man spotted a group of buggies and called 911 to report a stay-at-home order violation.

Just after midnight Sunday, the Geauga County Sherrif's office made an arrest, issued a summons, and charged two with underage drinking at an Amish residence in Huntsburg Township.

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“There is some concern out there and we are getting reports of large gatherings happening,” Geauga Sheriff Scott Hildenbrand told Fox 8. “If we get calls, or find out about them, we will go there, break them up and get them out of there. We won’t tolerate this and we have to keep everybody safe."

The arrest was for disorderly conduct and the summons was issued for violating the state order against mass gatherings.

“When we got there, there was a barn full of people, some of them ran," Hildenbrand recounted. “There was one that was too intoxicated to run and that person had to be transported by ambulance."

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A few days before, Thomas Quade, the county's health commissioner, sent a letter to Amish bishops about an alarming rate of coronavirus cases in the Amish community.

He also asked them to halt church services for the rest of the month.

“It is disappointing,” Quade said. “I wish it wouldn’t happen. Those folks are all placing themselves at risk."

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The Amish are a Christian community known for simple living. As of 2019, there were about 336,235 Amish living in the U.S. Around 76,000 live in Ohio, according to Amish studies organization The Young Center. Only Pennsylvania has a larger Amish population.