Teens Admit Assault On Amish Children; Threw Water Bottles From Car

Unfortunately Amish sometimes end up being targets for harassment, vandalism or violence in some cases. Sadly some Amish schoolchildren recently became targets on two separate occasions in an Ohio community. The report from FOX 8:

ASHLAND, Ohio (WJW) – The Fox 8 I-Team has learned two teens are under investigation for an assault carried out on Amish children.

Ashland Sheriff Lt. Don Sims told the I-Team the teens are accused of throwing water bottles from a vehicle, at Amish children as they walked home from school.

The incidents happened on January 18 and January 24 on State Route 545 in Ashland County.

The Amish children ranged in age from 8 to 14.

“One of the children was struck in the head,” Sims said. “This should not happen, it’s unacceptable, and won’t be tolerated.”

I’m assuming those were full water bottles (not sure how an empty water bottle would be much of a danger). Thankfully no one was seriously hurt. This is being termed “assault” and sounds like that’s what authorities are legally considering it to be (although when I read the word “assault” what first comes to mind is a face-to-face physical attack – not that this wasn’t dangerous as well).

From the early days in the mid-late-2000s of writing about the Amish online, I have seen comments both effusive in their praise of the Amish and those on the exact end of the spectrum – rabid anti-Amish comments that reveal a lot of hatred towards this group of people.

I’m not saying these teens have hearts full of hate for the Amish – who could know that from a 150-word report – but they probably saw them as “different”, and maybe deserving, easy targets.

Non-Amish in some places carry some negative prejudicial attitudes towards the Amish based on various beliefs rooted in varying degrees of truth. And it’s easier to do this sort of thing if you already look down upon a group of people for whatever reason.

This may have just been seen as “a prank” by the teens but certainly throwing a full water bottle from a car can be dangerous. The teens confessed to doing the deeds after questioning. Charges could be filed soon.

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    1. Walter Boomsma

      If it weren't so sad, it would be ironic

      This story has appeared on Facebook… one of the more annoying comments I saw was by someone who basically dismissed the incident since “no one ended up in the hospital.” (This was in response to a comment suggesting severe punishment for the bottle throwers.)

      So, apparently, we are supposed to tolerate an attack on some kids who happened to be Amish… which reflects an intolerance of the Amish? Am I the only one who sees some irony?

      The double irony is that the Amish have very likely forgiven the throwers for their act… but there are people who won’t tolerate (or “forgive”) the kids for being Amish?!

      Forgiveness doesn’t imply there should not be consequences. I hope we hear the “rest of the story.”

      By the way, my comment was “automatically deleted” by Facebook. I’ve shared it with others who can’t figure out why. We might do well to join our Amish friends questioning the value of social media!

      1. Right – I guess there are different degrees of assault based in part on how much harm was caused. But it’s still an assault and not to be dismissed. Not a great take by whoever that commenter was, in any case.

        On your second point, FB doesn’t cease to disappoint me. I have run several Amish pages on that platform for many years. Last year one of them with around 8,000 followers was first suspended and then completely deleted for something like “going against community standards”. Which was completely flabbergasting since I only basically repost articles from here on there. Good they got rid of that dangerous page about the Amish 😀

        I’ve found there’s basically zero chance of interacting with someone in cases like that to sort things out (maybe if I was paying for ads on FB, it would be different, but I’m not). Even though I still re-post articles from here on the remaining pages I have, I have little patience or time for that platform.

        1. Walter Boomsma

          How we decide...

          Violating Facebook’s Community Standards is getting easier and easier. What should perhaps scare folks is that FB is determining those Community Standards arbitrarily, with very little concern for members of the community. How ironic is it that is a frequent misunderstanding of the Amish Community–that Bishops are autocrats. (I’m sure some are more autocratic than others but I think the Amish know and understand a lot more about community than the rest of us.)

          I’ve taken to imposing severe limitations on how much time I spend on Facebook. I refer people to this site if they are truly interested in learning about the Amish.

    2. J.O.B.

      A story like this makes me wonder how many more causes of vandalism, harassment, and violence has been directed toward the Amish and not reported.

      1. I would suppose probably a good bit.

    3. Deborah

      I’ve seen Anti-Amish Behavior

      I work in a hospital in NE Indiana and have heard anti-Amish talk/Behavior. Recently I had a young Amish man as a patient. The ambulance driver refused to let his parents come up to the sons room. The next day I went to the manager of the hospital unit and got the okay for the parents and girl friend to come up. I even got the okay for the mother to stay the night. This was an old Amish group where the women use straight pins to hold their dresses together. Since they only use horses for transportation, I was able to get them the exemption to stay with the young patient due to the fact of the transportation hardship. The other nurses were really mad about it. I don’t care. It’s just the way they look at the Amish with such hate in their eyes is disturbing to me. They don’t act that way to muslims. I think it’s the programming from media and TV that causes this.
      As nurses, we are required to take a lot of diversity training so we can treat people from different cultural backgrounds fairly. I think many of the healthcare staff need retraining or at least include Amish in their training. It’s not management that have such a negative attitude which is good.
      And by the way, those frozen water bottles are hard as a rock. I recently had left some water bottles in my trunk and they were frozen. They clanked together like stones when I gathered them up.

    4. Michelle Smith

      Sentence them to Community Service at an Amish Farm

      The perpetrators are hardly children if they’re licensed to drive vehicles, IMO. If one is responsible enough to get behind the wheel of a “killing machine”, then one is old enough to know better than to assault children walking home from school. I hope they throw the book at these boys – make them do community service at an Amish farm!!

    5. Margaret

      It is assault

      When my niece was playing basketball one of the parents threw a full water bottle at one of the refs post game for some bad calls he had made. It was during the time we saw several male players go leaping into the stands after spectators. A lot of people came unhinged for a time, it seemed to quiet down and now we see stuff happening again.

      I say good on the cops. Striking another without cause should be grounds for a public flogging. Sorry, I’m tough on this. I also sustained some serious injuries after being assaulted by a teen at my former school. I have little patience for kids who act out.

    6. Maureen

      Water Bottle Assault


      This type act [by the bottle throwers] disgusts me and brings out my unforgiving, retaliatory side. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve witnessed this type of violence toward Amish children, Amish teens, and Amish women. So many times cars pull up next to a moving Amish buggy and throw their garbage hoping to bullseye the passengers. The thugs drive close and lean on the horn; I hold my breath hoping the horse doesn’t get spooked. I can’t find any absolution in my being when I witness such deliberate contempt. I’ve held many conversations with my Amish friends over these intentionally hurtful acts. I don’t agree with the Amish stance to “do nothing”. Eye for an eye.

    7. Lorna

      Teens Admit Assault on Amish Children

      This was definitely an assault, a very dangerous action which could have had some dire consequences for the students who were the targets of the water bottles. Frankly, one of the most interesting things about this article is how you minimized the seriousness of the assaults, and seemed to dismiss it as just a prank…teenaged boys can whip a full water bottle at little children, or, at older children, from close range in a moving vehicle, and maim or kill them. Look at what happened in 2020 when rioters threw water bottles at adults in positions of authority, causing great injuries to them.
      People who have such disregard for human life, especially the lives of little children, should be kept out of general society. They should be charged with assault, possibly a hate-crime; then, a punishment should be devised that will give them opportunity to see these Amish children as the valuable individuals that they actually are. Some sort of restorative justice would be good, AND, some sort of punishment that will serve as a future deterrent is also required.

      1. If you’re saying I minimized the assaults, I would suggest taking a closer look again at what I wrote:

        “This may have just been seen as “a prank” by the teens but certainly throwing a full water bottle from a car can be dangerous.”

        That’s speculating on how the teens may have seen it, *not* suggesting that I think it was a prank.

        Also this paragraph makes it clear, I believe, that I view throwing full water bottles from a car as serious and a danger:

        “I’m assuming those were full water bottles (not sure how an empty water bottle would be much of a danger). Thankfully no one was seriously hurt. This is being termed “assault” and sounds like that’s what authorities are legally considering it to be (although when I read the word “assault” what first comes to mind is a face-to-face physical attack – not that this wasn’t dangerous as well).”