'We Won't Tolerate This': Ohio Cops Bust Up Large Amish Barn Party Amid COVID-19 Shutdown

Brittany M. Hughes | April 22, 2020
Font Size

Sheriff’s deputies reportedly broke up a gathering and arrested at least one person at an Amish barn party in Ohio this week.

Fox 8 in Geauga County, Ohio reports one person was arrested for disorderly conduct and another issued a court summons for violating the state’s ban on gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic after authorities responded to a local tip and busted a large party being held by local Amish residents in a barn. Law enforcement who responded to the scene said many of the partiers fled after the cops showed up. Two others were charged with underage drinking.

“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.”

Apparently, while the state has cracked down on other social gatherings, including religious ones, and closed all “non-essential businesses,” the area has had trouble getting the local Amish community to comply with the mandates. Fox 8 reports they’ve received several photos over the past few weeks showing large numbers of Amish residents gathering despite the state’s mandate. 

At the same time, local officials say they’ve seen an uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases coming out of Amish areas, adding that they’ve sent notices to local Amish faith leaders asking them to cancel religious gatherings, a cornerstone of the highly insular community, during the pandemic to help slow the spread.