TORONTO – The man who aided in the rescue of three women held captive in a Cleveland, Ohio house for almost a decade says he’s no hero.
“No, no, no, no, no bro. I’m a Christian, an American and I’m just like you,” Charles Ramsey told CNN’s Anderson Cooper this week.
“We bleed same blood, put our pants on the same way. It’s just that, you gotta put that, being a coward and I don’t want to get in nobody’s business, you gotta put that away for a minute, it’s about having cojones, bro.”
Ramsey, who lives next door to where Ariel Castro is alleged to have kept the women in a makeshift prison, was home Monday when he heard Amanda Berry‘s scream.
He kicked in the door of his neighbour’s house, allowing Berry to escape and make that now famous 911 call.
In 2003, the FBI offered a reward of up to $25,000 for information regarding the disappearance of Berry.
“I tell you what to do, give it to [the victims],” Ramsey said. “If folks have been following this case since last night, and you’ve been following me since last night, you know I got a job anyway…so take that reward and give it to the girls.”
Ramsey gave a series of interviews filled with colourful language to Cleveland television stations as the story broke Monday night. He trended on Twitter and was the subject of Internet memes and an auto-tuned song.
During his initial interviews, Ramsey expressed shock over the allegations that his neighbour led a double life.
“My neighbour, you got some big testicles to pull this off, bro,” Ramsey said. “I barbecue with this dude, we eat ribs and whatnot, listen to salsa music.”
Ramsey’s realization of what was happening Monday in his poor, largely Puerto Rican section of Cleveland was itself a revealing observation on race.
He said seeing a white girl in that situation was “a dead giveaway” that she was either homeless or had other problems.
“When a little pretty white girl ran into a black man’s arms, something was wrong,” he said.
–with files from The Associated Press
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