Home / National News / 'Hero' in Cleveland House Rescue Had History of Domestic Abuse


(NEW YORK) — Court records obtained by The Smoking Gun reveal that one of the neighbors credited with helping three women escape their alleged imprisonment from a Cleveland, Ohio, home has a long rap sheet that includes domestic abuse.

Shortly after news that the three women were safe Monday night, Charles Ramsey was interviewed extensively by the media as he explained how he helped Amanda Berry contact police, leading to the release of two other women and Berry’s child.

However, Ramsey’s exuberance at becoming an instant hero will likely be tempered by the discovery of his criminal history.  His marriage ended in 2003 after he was convicted of battering his wife, putting him behind bars for eight months.

Meanwhile, a pair of domestic violence cases were consolidated in 1998 in which Ramsey spent six months in jail.  He also did two separate one-year stretches in the early 1990s for drug abuse, criminal trespassing, and receiving stolen property.

The Smoking Gun interviewed Ramsey’s ex-wire, Rochelle, who acknowledged she’s on better terms with her former spouse although their teenage daughter wants little to do with him.

Giving his side of the story to ABC’s Nightline host Cynthia McFadden, Ramsey acknowledged his arrests for domestic abuse and said that his ex-wire deserved better.

Since he last got out of jail 10 years ago, Ramsey claims he’s stayed out of trouble or as he referred to it, “No more stupidity.”

Elaborating more on how people change as they get older, Ramsey told McFadden, “You reach that age and it’s like am I going to be a total schmuck the rest of my life?  Or are we gonna stop being a schmuck.  Know what I mean?”

Although McFadden said he didn’t act like a schmuck when he helped three women who appeared to be in trouble last Monday, Ramsey admitted that he couldn’t promise he wouldn’t be a schmuck next Monday.

What Ramsey did promise was that he would not take a $25,000 reward but instead turn it over to Berry.  By doing so, he hoped others would be inspired to commit similar acts of selflessness.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


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