|Shipshewana in crisis?|
SHIPSHEWANA, IN – After a late Monday incident where two buggies collided leaving two horses dead and three teens injured, Shipshewana Police Marshall Tom M. Fitch admits he is growing concerned about incidents involving local Amish citizens.
“We have a growing problem,” said Fitch. “Some really unusual behavior from the young people of Elkhart County and Shipshewana, or the young Amish folks anyway. I’m troubled because it is so unusual, in my experience the Amish don’t drink so I’m a little lost.”
Fitch says he wonders if the closing of one of the larger dairy farms by the federal government isn’t the indirect cause.
“The FDA shut down an Amish farmer who was selling fresh raw milk, apparently he was selling it in Michigan as well and that’s illegal,” explained Fitch. “Most of the local farms bought or traded milk with Jacob Bontrager, or had a descendent of his cows and since the FDA took his farm in February these incidents have occurred.”
Fitch added there have been a handful of misdemeanor crimes and summons for public drunkenness, being a public nuisance, and lewd behavior. He connects the timeline of the incidents and the disappearance of the Bontrager milk based on recent studies by Dr. Mark Holbreich an allergist in Indianapolis, has been treating Amish communities in Indiana for two decades.
“I know, it may be crazy,” said Fitch. “However we know their lifestyle leads to fewer allergies, asthma, autism and other childhood afflictions so maybe drinking and promiscuity have similar traits.”
Holbreich said he isn’t sure if there is any data to support such a supposition but he is willing to look in to it at Fitch’s request.
“We’ll get to the bottom of this,” said Holbreich. “I’ve spent too much tome with these families to see them in jail, falling apart or worse making amateur Amish porn.”