MAY 8–The Cleveland man credited with helping free female captives from a house of horrors is a convicted felon whose rap sheet includes three separate domestic violence convictions that resulted in prison terms, court records show.
Charles Ramsey, whose 911 call and subsequent TV interviews have made him a microcelebrity, was once a repeat spousal abuser whose marriage ended in divorce following a 2003 felony conviction for battering his wife.
Ramsey, 43, has said that when he heard captive Amanda Berry screaming and trying to escape from neighbor Ariel Castro’s home on Monday, “I figured it’s a domestic violence dispute.” Ramsey has also reportedly said that he went to help Berry because he “was raised to help women in distress.”
Ramsey’s first domestic violence charge came in February 1997. He entered a no contest plea a year later and was found guilty of the count by a Cleveland Municipal Court judge. While waiting to be sentenced, Ramsey was again arrested for domestic violence.
At the time of Ramsey’s second collar, in July 1998, he was already the subject of an arrest warrant issued in connection with his failure to appear for a court hearing in the first domestic violence case. As a result, Ramsey was jailed for violating terms of his release on bond. Ramsey subsequently entered a no contest plea to the second case and was, again, found guilty by a Cleveland judge.
The domestic violence cases apparently were consolidated for sentencing in August 1998, when Ramsey was ordered to serve six months in jail, placed on five years probation, and directed to attend a domestic violence counseling program.
Following his release from custody, Ramsey violated probation terms, according to an April 1999 court docket entry. While an arrest warrant was issued for Ramsey, it is unclear from court records whether it was executed before both misdemeanor cases were formally closed several years later.
Ramsey was again busted for domestic abuse in January 2003. He was subsequently indicted for felony “domestic violence with prior conviction,” a reference to his previous abuse cases.
The 6’ 2”, 230-pound Ramsey’s victim was his wife Rochelle, whom he assaulted in their Cleveland Heights residence. Following Ramsey’s felony collar, a judge issued a protective order covering his wife, the couple’s daughter (who is now 15), and Rochelle’s son from a prior relationship.
Well this is sort of awkward. Our news superstar, Cleveland hero, has a little bit of a “beating women” thing? Yikes. Oh wait, nevermind, this is EXACTLY what happens every single time something like this goes down. I’m not justifying Charles Ramsey’s past, far from it, but do people realize this is classic mainstream media 101? Make anonymous person a “hero”, celebrate him, put him on every single television show you could possibly find, then dig up his past and tear him down. Rinse and repeat.
I mean Charles Ramsey should never have been dubbed a “hero” to begin with. He did what everyone was supposed to do in that situation. If my next door neighbor is a kidnapper and someone starts screaming bloody murder right this second I’m calling the police. Why? Because I’m a human being. That’s not being a hero, that’s doing your duty as a person on earth. So why has he been called a hero? Because CNN and FOX and MSNBC need to fill time so they need to find a hero to even out all the terrible news. But then the hero runs dry, so what do they do? They tear down the hero and get a few more days of coverage out of it. I mean this guy hasn’t been arrested for 10 years. 10. We’ve all made mistakes, again I’m definitely not defending any type of domestic violence, but come on. He’s paid his debt, seemingly fixed his wrongs. So does the media really need to drag his name through the mud after building him up higher than he should have been in the first place? He’s just a guy. He’s not a hero and he’s probably not as bad as everyone will make him out to be these next few days.
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