This story won’t make this guy’s parents proud….and unfortunately it’s not an isolated incident in this community (Geauga County, Ohio). A 21-year-old Amish male struck a police cruiser while passed out drunk in a moving buggy. Here’s the gist of what happened May 14 via WKYC:
The horse didn’t come to a stop and continued past the officer’s vehicle as it turned eastbound onto Hague Road. Upon passing the police cruiser, the deputy spotted a man in the buggy dressed in common Amish attire sitting slumped over in the right seat of the buggy.
The deputy pulled in front of the buggy after the turn. He attempted to wake the occupant of the buggy up as the horse approached but the man didn’t respond. The horse continued forward and rammed the back side of the deputy’s vehicle multiple times causing the driver to be ejected from the right side of the buggy.
Upon returning to consciousness, the deputy had a verbal exchange with the driver, who was later identified as Nathan Miller. After smelling alcohol on the breath of Miller, the deputy placed him in handcuffs and transported him to the Orwell Police Department on a charge of OVI.
Miller refused a field sobriety test at the scene of the incident, but did take a breathalyzer test. He registered a .063%.
In other words Miller was very intoxicated. Video report below. When the buggy impacts the cruiser, you can see what I think is a speaker box fly forward. Miller is lucky he wasn’t injured (or caused a serious accident):
Some Amish communities have a reputation for this sort of thing. Geauga County is one of them. Another is the New Wilmington, PA settlement, which has seen several of these incidents made public in recent years. Amish youth (and some not so young) get drunk, and at party’s end the horse, knowing the way, navigates the passed-out driver home. It happens.
I don’t know if it’s due to some level of tolerance by adults that’s hard to shake out of the culture (“just kids sowing wild oats like we did” might be the thinking for some). No Amish parents would condone this, at least not publicly. So there may be a level of tolerance…or it’s simply a tall order for concerned parents to get youth behavior under control, when this type of thing is ingrained deep in the culture. How much blame do the parents bear here?
And on a related note, being humans, Amish do judge one another. It’s known and spoken about – which are the wild communities, the ones with problems. “The Amish” aren’t all the same…some aren’t as squeaky-clean as the public might suppose. But you can’t paint them all with a broad brush.
Here’s the longer police footage showing what happened (language warning in this video). One day this young man will regret this is out there. The one officer does seem casual about it…his tone reveals this isn’t the first time he’s come across this sort of thing: “He’ll go home. The horse knows how to get home.”