Charles Ramsey, the neighbour who helped rescue three women who had been held hostage for years in Cleveland, is being celebrated as a hero.
He’s also bound to become an Internet celebrity as videos of his spirited interviews with media make the rounds.
As Ramsey has told several news outlets, he heard a woman yelling from his next-door neighbour’s home and was confused because he didn’t think that a woman lived next door. When he went over to help the woman, she turned out to be Amanda Berry, now 27, who has been missing since she was 16.
Two other missing women: Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were also located inside the home by police. DeJesus has been missing since 2004 when she was 14. Knight is now 30 and has been missing for 11 years, reports Cleveland newspaper The Plain Dealer. However, Knight’s missing persons case was not as high-profile as the other two women since she was 18 when she disappeared.
Here’s how the rescue happened, in Ramsey’s own words, as told to ABC News:
“I heard screaming. I’m eating my McDonald’s. I come outside. I see this girl going nuts, trying to get out of a house. So I go on the porch. I go on the porch and she says ‘Help me get out. I’ve been here a long time.’ So, I figured it was a domestic violence dispute. So, I opened the door, and we can’t get in that way. ‘Cause how the door is — it’s only so much — and a body can’t fit through it — only your hand. So we kicked the bottom and she comes out with a little girl and she says: ‘Call 911. My name is Amanda Berry.'”
His neighbour seemed like a quiet guy who played with his dog and liked tinkering with his motorcycles, Ramsey says.
“My neighbour, you got some big testicles to pull this off, bro, because we see this dude every day. I mean, every day. I’ve been here a year, you see where I’m coming from, bro? I barbecue with this dude. We eat ribs and whatnot, and listen to salsa music, you see where I’m coming from?”
Really, the quotes don’t do it justice. Here’s the full video:
Ramsey also spoke with Fox News. When the reporter asks if he knew there were women in the home, he answers: “No. Because I woulda pulled this heroic stuff last year.”
The homeowner, a man who a family member identified as Cleveland bus driver Ariel Castro, 52, has been arrested. Two other brothers, ages 50 and 54, have also been arrested.
Police have yet to officially release the names of those arrested.