Charles Ramsey (AP Photo)
The neighbor who kicked open a door to help free three women who police say were held captive in a Cleveland home for close to a decade, said he at first thought the screaming he heard was a domestic dispute.
"I heard screaming," Charles Ramsey told WEWS-TV of Monday’s dramatic rescue. "I'm eating my McDonald's, I come outside and I see this girl going nuts trying to get out. 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.'"
Berry disappeared in 2003 at age 16. Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus, who were found inside the home, went missing in 2002 and 2004, respectively.
"I'm like, 'I'm calling 911 for Amanda Berry? I thought this girl was dead,'" Ramsey told reporters.
Ariel Castro, 52, was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping.
"I barbecue with this dude," Ramsey said. "We eat ribs and listen to salsa music."
Castro's two live-in brothers, Pedro, 54, and Onil, 50, also were arrested.
The three women were taken to Cleveland MetroHealth Center for evaluation. "We're in the process of evaluating medical needs," Dr. Gerald Maloney said Monday. "They appear to be in fair condition at the moment."
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."
McDonald's released a statement on Twitter praising Ramsey's heroism.
"We salute the courage of Ohio kidnap victims [and] respect their privacy," the tweet from the company's verified Twitter account read. "Way to go Charles Ramsey—we'll be in touch."
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