Amish son cuts off father's beard and hair

Amish farmer 1 November 2011 Amish communities are known for their simple way of living and reject many modern technologies

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An elderly Amish man has had his hair and beard cut off by his own son in the latest such attack in the US state of Ohio, said police.

The victim was allegedly pounced upon while visiting his son during an attempted reunion in the city of Steubenville.

The older man - who is in his 70s - has told police he will not press charges.

Spiritual differences are said to be behind the attacks on a number of Amish men and women in recent weeks.

In religiously conservative Amish communities, women do not cut their hair and men grow beards only after they marry.

Members of the tiny Christian community, who call themselves the Plain People, generally shun modern conveniences such as electricity, televisions and cars.

Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said he had warned the victim's son beforehand not to cause trouble, and was parked nearby during Wednesday's incident.

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This guy was just totally destroyed”

End Quote Sheriff Fred Abdalla

The attacker - with the help of his sons - is said to have wrestled his father to the floor.

The victim's wife tried to intervene, but was held back by her daughter-in-law, the sheriff said.

"This guy was just totally destroyed after this happened," Sheriff Abdalla told Associated Press news agency.

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"They just humiliated him. I talked to him. I mean, the guy's a broken man."

The victim told the sheriff that instead of filing a complaint, he would return to his community and consult elders.

In recent weeks, at least half a dozen Amish men and women have been assaulted in four different Ohio counties, losing their beards or, in the case of the women, clumps of their hair.

The attacks are said to have been incited by a breakaway Amish leader.

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