Ohio Amish leader: Beard-cutting religious matter

By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS | October 10, 2011 | 7:30 PM EDT

FILE - In this July 15, 2011 file photo, an Amish man rides on top of a hay wagon near Middlefield, Ohio. Jefferson County, Ohio Sheriff Fred Abdalla says men and sometimes women from a group of families disavowed by mainstream Amish have terrorized a half-dozen or more fellow Amish, cutting off their hair and beards. Abdalla said Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011 that his deputies have been hampered by the reluctance of Amish to press charges. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

BERGHOLZ, Ohio (AP) — The leader of an eastern Ohio Amish group with members accused of going into the home of another Amish man and cutting his hair and beard says it's a religious matter and police shouldn't be involved.

Sam Mullet says he didn't order the attack but didn't stop two of his sons and another man from carrying it out on a 74-year-old man in his Holmes County home last week.

The 66-year-old Mullet told The Associated Press on Monday the hair-cutting with scissors was intended to send a message that other Amish should be ashamed of themselves.

Mullet says other Amish are upset with him for excommunicating people from his community on the outskirts of Bergholz (BER'-guhls).

The three men are being held in Jefferson County jail on Holmes County warrants charging them with kidnapping and burglary.