Charles Ramsey, the neighbor credited with saving three young women held captive in a Cleveland home for a decade, said he heard desperate screams and then kicked through a door to help one escape.
Charles Ramsey said he was eating a McDonald’s meal when he heard the cries, ran over to investigate holding a Big Mac and then came face to face with Amanda Berry, who was last seen in 2003 aged 16.
He 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>>.”
Charles Ramsey said he didn’t immediately process that it was the same Amanda Berry who had disappeared from the neighborhood 10 years ago.
Soon afterwards, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were also found alive on inside the house.
When Charles Ramsey helped Amanda Berry out of the house, she was holding a young child, and there were other children in the home.
Charles Ramsey added: “I knew something was wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into a black man’s arms. Something is wrong here. Dead giveaway.”
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.
Charles 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 Berry 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 DeJesus vanished in 2004, while Michelle Knight was last seen in 2002.
There were also several children in the home.
When police arrived, officers asked Charles Ramsey if he knew who he rescued.
The revelations shocked Charles Ramsey, who said that he has known Ariel 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.”
Charles Ramsey 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 Berry disappeared at age 16 on April 21, 2003, one day before her 17th anniversary, when she called her sister to say she was getting a ride home from her job at a Burger King.
Gina DeJesus went missing at age 14 on her way home from school about a year later.