OHIO (CNN NEWS) — A sheriff’s deputy is on patrol in North Bloomfield in the heart of Trumbull county’s Amish country when he spots a buggy.
Inside he sees two Amish men drinking spiked ice tea. On top of the buggy is a 12 pack of beer.
He also spots something unusual for an Amish buggy: a stereo system with large speakers.
Younger members of the Amish community often experiment with influences from the outside world.
But authorities in Trumbull county say they have a duty to enforce the law in Amish country the same way they do in the rest of the county.
Chief Deputy Joe Dragovich, says, “unfortunately they’re not licensed, as far as the buggy goes, but it is a vehicle. It’s on the roadway. And the OVI laws do apply. You’re not allowed to drink and drive or operate a buggy.”
When the deputy attempted to stop and question the two men in the buggy about drinking and driving, they jumped out and ran, disappearing into a heavily wooded area on the side of the road. The horse pulling the buggy took off running, and the deputy gave chase, eventually catching up with it a short distance away.
Deputy Dragovich says, “I’ve never operated an Amish buggy with a horse, but I’m told that the horse will know the way home regardless if the operator is awake or even in the buggy. That horse, I think just went a little further down the road and an an oil gas well road and stopped.”
Reporter Jack Shea, says “no one has come forward to claim the horse, so the sheriff’s office has turned the animal over to a local farmer until the owner can be identified.”
And once authorities find out who the wayward members of the Amish community are, they could be charged with failure to comply when the deputy ordered them to stop.
Deputy Dragovich says, “maybe there’s just that fear of the consequences. And that would be a reality for them, that there are consequences. But I encourage him to come forward get their buggy and horse.”
The sheriff says it’s an odd situation, but since the horse and buggy function as a vehicle drinking and driving laws apply.