Charles Ramsey never imagined he’d be thrust into the national spotlight from the yard of his Cleveland home, much less labeled “hero” for, of all things, rescuing three women from their alleged captors.
However, that is exactly what happened Monday when Ramsey’s fast food meal was interrupted by desperate cries for help.
“I heard screaming. I was eating my McDonald’s. I went outside and saw this girl going nuts trying to get out of her house,” said Ramsey, surrounded by a crowd a people in an animated interview with ABC News affiliate, WEWS.
Clad in a plain white t-shirt, his face framed by roughly straightened hair, and highlighted by a gap-toothed smile, Ramsey explained how he forced his way into the home with the help of another man, Angel Corder. Inside, the pair were suddenly face-to-face with 27-year-old Amanda Berry.
She hadn’t been seen alive in over a decade.
Barry and two other women, Georgina “Gina” DeJesus , 23, and Michelle Knight, 32, were rescued from the home after Ramsey called authorities to the 2200 block of Seymour Avenue, according to information released by the Cleveland Police Department.
Two of the women have been reunited with their families while a third underwent medical observation May 8.
Berry, the woman whose blood-curdling scream caught Ramsey’s attention, was one day away from her 17th birthday when she was abducted just blocks from her home.
According to her FBI missing person profile, Berry completed her shift at a local Burger King on April 21, 2003 and wasn’t heard from again until May 6.
“Three suspects are currently in Cleveland Police custody awaiting charges to be filed. They are brothers Ariel Castro, 52; Onil Castro, 50; and Pedro Castro, 54,” said Cleveland officials in a press release on the safe return of the women.
Along with the home the women were held in, a search warrant has been issued for “other locations pending,” said police, before thanking Ramsey for his part in case.
“The support of the community is critically important to all that law enforcement does.”
Ramsey told WEWS TV that Castro had been seemed like a normal neighbor in the past year he had been living next to him- never letting on that he was in anyway involved in the puzzling disappearances.
“I barbeque with this dude- we eat ribs and whatnot , and listen to salsa music,” Ramsey told WEWS TV.
Ramsey went on to say that he wasn’t aware the women were being held until that day.
“I knew something was wrong when a pretty little white girl ran into a black man’s arms. Something is wrong here,” Ramsey said, in the interview that has gone viral. “Either she’s homeless or she has problems- that’s the only reason she’s running to a black man.”
The social media world has lit up since word of the daring rescue hit mainstream media.
McDonald’s took to Twitter to applaud Ramsey’s quick action.
“We salute the courage of Ohio kidnap victims & respect their privacy,” said the company said from their Twitter account on Tuesday. “Way to go Charles Ramsey – we’ll be in touch.”
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