Whoa Nelly! Police chase horse and buggy

Amish man runs from the law

By Mark Morales
|  Thursday, Jun 4, 2009  |  Updated 3:00 PM EDT
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Whoa Nelly! Police chase horse and buggy

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Upstate New York police in a squad car chased a suspect in a horse and buggy.

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A routine traffic stop in upstate New York turned into a police chase that featured a clash of cultures -- not to mention transportation technologies.

The Buffalo News reported that police tried to pull over an Amish driver of a horse and buggy earlier this week, but the driver would not stop. The resulting chase had police hot on the spokes of Jonas Hershberger, 20, for three miles.

The squad car's horsepower advantage diminished quickly off road, as Hershberger led them into the woods before ditching his horse and buggy. He escaped on foot, but was later taken into custody at his home after area residents recognized his horse and buggy.

Cops in Cattaraugus County had been conducting traffic stops in the area to crack down on underage drinking. It's not uncommon to stop cars and buggies alike since there is a large Amish community in the county.

Lt. Tom Bradigan, 47, of the sheriff's department, said he's received complaints from residents of underage Amish men drinking and listening to loud music in fields at night.

"I don't know about their beliefs, but disturbing the peace and underage drinking is illegal," Bradigan said.  

Hershberger was charged with overdriving of animals, reckless endangerment, and  obstructing governmental administration. He was also fined $250.

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