Hero Neighbor Who Freed Kidnapped Ohio Women Becomes Instant Internet Celebrity

Rachel Quigley, Daily Mail (London), May 6, 2013

The neighbor credited with saving three young women held captive in a Cleveland home for a decade has become an instant celebrity due to the animated and zany interviews he gave to news outlets in the wake of the rescue.

Charles Ramsey said he was eating a McDonald’s meal when he heard screams coming from the residence, he ran over to investigate, holding a Big Mac, and then came face-to-face with Amanda Berry, who was last seen in 2003 aged 14.

His lively and captivating interviews have been shared on social networking sites, as has his expletive-ridden 911 call, in which he can be heard asking Amanda Berry, ‘Do you need an ambulance or some sh**?’

Mr Ramsey told WEWS-TV: ‘I heard screaming, and I see this girl going nuts trying to get outside [of the house].

‘I go on the porch and she said, “Help me get out. I’ve been here a long time.” I figure it was domestic violence dispute.’

‘She comes out with a little girl and says “Call 911, my name is Amanda Berry.”

‘I knew something was wrong when a little pretty white girl runs into a black man’s arms, I said, “Something is wrong here”.’

It was this and other memorable statements that has made Ramsey an internet celebrity. There is already an ‘autotune remix’ of his interview, called Little Pretty White Girl.

Memes and gifs have also started to emerge with the phrases, ‘I barbeque with this dude, we eat ribs and whatnot’ and ‘You got some big testicles to pull this off bro.’

Soon afterward Amanda Berry appeared, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were also found alive inside the house.

When Mr Ramsey helped Amanda out of the house, she was holding a young child, and there were other children in the home.

Ariel Castro, 52, has been arrested and is in police custody in connection with the kidnapping case along with his two unnamed brothers, who are 50 and 54.

Mr Ramsey said: ‘When she told me, it didn’t register until I got the call to 911 and I’m like, “I’m calling 911 for Amanda Berry? I thought this girl was dead.”‘

He handed Amanda the phone, and she told police that she had been held captive in the home and to send help.

Also found in the home were two more women who had been reported missing  at around the same time – Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. All three appeared to be in good health.

Dr Gerald Maloney, of Cleveland MetroHealth Center, told reporters: ‘They’re safe… We’re in the process of evaluating medical needs. They appear to be in fair condition at the moment.’

Gina vanished in 2004, while Michelle was last seen in 2002.

There were also several children in the home.

When police arrived, officers asked Mr Ramsey if he knew who he rescued.

A 52-year-old man, Ariel Castro, has been arrested and is in police custody in connection to the case.

The revelations shocked Mr Ramsey, who said that he has known Castro and the two often spent time together.

He told NewsNet5: ‘I’ve been here a year. I barbeque with this dude, we eat ribs and what not and listen to salsa music. Not a clue that that girl was in that house or that anyone else was in there with.’

He added: ‘He’s somebody you look and then you look away because he’s just doing normal stuff. You got some big testicles to pull this one off because we see this guy every day.’

Amanda disappeared at age 16 on April 21, 2003, when she called her sister to say she was getting a ride home from her job at a Burger King.

DeJesus went missing at age 14 on her way home from school about a year later.


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