Police Report: Amishman Followed By Truck, Harassed In Maine Community

I came across a police report about an Amish man being harassed in the community of Sherman, Maine. The Amish are targets of harassment in some places. In some cases the harassment goes well beyond what we might think of as a simple prank. The topic has been the subject of an academic paper, as well as several posts here on serious incidents – cases of arson, gunshots fired at Amish homes and a horse. Here’s the snippet describing what happened in Maine:

Monday, Dec. 28

SHERMAN — Tr. Castonguay is investigating a harassment report in Sherman. The complainant said a young man from the Amish community came into the store visibly scared/upset. The complainant later learned of a black truck following the man and doing things to scare his horse. Tr. Castonguay obtained a vehicle registration number and is actively working this investigation.

Sherman is located in “The County“, the local name for Aroostook County, a massive expanse of land which is larger even than three individual states. The County has attracted a fair share of Amish over the years – five settlements total, of which the Sherman settlement is one of the largest (“large” is relative here as they are all just one or two church districts in size).

Another Swartzentruber settlement in The County is found at Fort Fairfield. Photo by Paul Cyr

When I first saw this report I thought that this may have been one of the newer of the settlements. Maybe this was a case of someone local unaccustomed to new Amish neighbors who decided chasing buggies is a good way to kill boredom. But it turns out this community has existed for around 10 years.

This is a Swartzentruber Amish settlement, so these are the plainest Amish, and thus among the most different from English people – a dynamic that probably encourages more harassment by those inclined to do so.

The police report is dated to three weeks ago, though it just appeared online last week. Hopefully with the vehicle registration number in hand, the police have already located Mr. Black Truck Tough Guy and have put a stop to whatever he was up to – before it leads to a human or animal being injured or killed.

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    14 Comments

    1. Alex Knisely

      Follow-up, please, Erik

      As in title.

    2. Richard Traunero

      Mr. Black Truck Tough Guy

      “Mr. Black Truck Tough Guy” made me chuckle, although this is no laughing matter. I hope they locate the driver and can do something about it.

      1. Agreed. If I find any more news on it I’ll update.

    3. Guest

      I hope they get that bully

      Amish typically don’t file charges, do they? I’m glad that citizen obtained the license info, and I hope that creep is held fully accountable. That poor young man and his horse.

      1. Overall I think it’s fair to say they report crimes less than non-Amish people do. Some are more comfortable informing the police when things happen than others. This may have been this man’s way of informing police by way of a third party (also his group wouldn’t have phones even in an off-property location so this would be the way to do it).

    4. Debbie

      Sickening.

      No wonder the Amish want to be separate from us. I also hope Mr Tough Guy is held accountable.

    5. Lydia Good

      This is scary

      But nothing surprises me anymore. There is so little tolerance in our world today. I hope Mr Black Truck Tough Guy will have some sense instilled in him. But I wouldn’t hold my breath that this will happen. He’s a bully plain and simple.

    6. Police Report: Amishman followed by truck

      This was a disturbing article. I hope the big truck tough guy gets the book thrown at him. There couldn’t have been any valid reason to harass the Amishman.

    7. Aj

      That is wrong. People need to think about what they do. It’s not funny or cool. Amish people are often targeted. The murder of Linda is the most shocking example, but there is a lot of petty harassment against the Amish.

      I have seen Amish buggies harassed by road rage drivers. I’ve been behind buggies where trucks with Diesel engines get aggressive with the buggies and rev their engines as they pass. It doesn’t matter that there are families with kids in the buggies. Some people are sick and if they cannot share the road with Amish buggies, they should have their license suspended. They put not only the Amish at danger, but their actions often endanger other vehicle drivers.

    8. Helen Curtis

      Swartzentruber Amish

      Eric,
      Do none of the Swartzentruber Amish settlements have phone shanties?
      Thanks
      Helen

      1. No they don’t have phones in any fashion. They would borrow a neighbor’s for instance when necessary. Unless there is a Swartzentruber spin off group somewhere that is permitting them, but I don’t think so.

    9. Sunflower

      Harassment in Maine

      Not to be an insult to anyone reading this in Maine- My family was originally from that county and I have been up there a lot throughout my life and still have friends and family with land/cabins there. There has always been a culture of being unwelcoming to newcomers or people they don’t know to the point of trying to scare people away. I grew up being warned of men called “Maineinacs”. I had the same thing happen to me 15 years ago up there because I was driving my father in law’s truck that had an Iowa license plate. It was also a huge black truck. Most people are not like that however. Just a small amount who feel their way of life is threatened if it becomes overcrowded. I’ve had many discussions about how people like to go up North to “get away from it all” but then bring it “all” with them. Then they try to change the area to make it like where they left. By the way- there was a small Amish group up there many years ago. One of my ancestors from Maine married an Amish woman from that group. He was a logger on the Canadian border. My mother told me she was afraid of her when she was little because she always wore all black. This woman was my great-great Grandmother. Not sure if there was an official Amish settlement. Anyone know? This would have been in the late 1870-1880’s.

      1. Interesting about Maine. I the feeling of not wanting a way of life in an area spoiled by overcrowding, etc is not unique to them. My hometown is quite different than it was 20-some years ago when I was growing up there. It tends to be the way of things, especially if you live in an area that has desirable qualities, but you can lose something along the way. As for the historical Maine community, I don’t think there was a settlement in Maine in that era. The source to check is called The Amish in America: Settlements That Failed 1840-1960 by David Luthy. I would look for you but I’m away from my library right now for a few weeks.

    10. Pat Monti

      Sorry to learn of. There are good and bad English as there are good and bad Amish.

      I’m sorry to learn of this and feel for the boy and his horse. That type of behavior is totally unacceptable. Hopefully the one responsible will be held accountable to the degree that they should.

      In addition, I’d like to state; as I have before, that there are good and bad English as there are good and bad Amish. IMO it appears that many seem to think that Amish are nearly saints. Frankly, some of the most non saint-like individuals we personally know are Amish.