Earlier this week (May 6th, 2013) the world was shocked to learn that three young women; Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight, who were missing (and presumed dead) for over ten years, have been kept captive all this time, in a residential street in Cleveland, Ohio (in the United States) by Ariel Castro, a 52-year-old former school bus driver. Investigators believe Castro’s two brothers (Pedro & Onil) also had knowledge of what went on in his home.
Amanda Berry managed to get the attention of next door neighbour Charles Ramsey, a 43 year old dishwasher, by repeatedly kicking the front door from the inside while screaming for help. Charles Ramsey helped free her and called 911, who initially didn’t seem to believe his story, so Amanda called 911 herself to notify the police. The police then helped free the other two girls and arrested Ariel Castro and his two brothers.
After the girls were rescued, the media took special interest in the hero; Charles Ramsey, and he was interviewed several times. In no time his name was trending on Twitter with the hashtag #ChuckRamsey and videos of his interview spread all over YouTube like a wildfire. In the interview with Anderson Cooper from CNN, Anderson asked Charles if he felt like a hero. Charles answered: “No, bro. I’m a Christian and an American. I’m just like you. We bleed the same blood. Put our pants on the same way. It’s just that.. you gotta put that being a coward and I don’t wanna be in nobody’s business, you gotta put that away for a minute. You’ve got to have some cojones. That’s what it’s all about.. cojones, bro.” Anderson proceeded to ask Charles if the FBI mentioned anything about a reward. To which Charles replied: “I’ll tell you what you do; give it to them. ’cause if folks been following this case since last night, and you been following me since last night, you know I got a job anyway.” What a guy, eh?
Check out the videos below to hear Charles tell the story in his own words. The first thing that struck me when I watched the videos, was the way Charles speaks and how he sounds so (unintentionally) funny. Click the links to also view his interviews with Fox8 News, Good Morning America & WKYC.
Below: Charles’s interview with Anderson Cooper
Some of the phrases (“It’s a dead giveaway”, “You got some big testicles to pull this off, bro”, “We eat ribs and what not”, “Bro, I knew something was wrong, when a little pretty white girl ran to a black man’s arms”, “Either she was homeless, or she got problems. That’s the only reason why she would run to a black man” , ) used by Charles sound so catchy, that it was only a matter of time before it became an internet meme. Some crafty people used autotune to remix and songify his words into.. Yes, you’ve guessed it: a YouTube video.
Charles obviously loves him some McDonalds, since he mentioned the fast food chain’s name several times during his interviews. McDonalds cleverly responded on Twitter by saying that they’d be in touch with him. And if they hadn’t done that, they definitely would have been “persuaded” to do so by the reactions on Twitter. Like the one by Cuban-American film and tv actor Laz Alonso for instance.
Charles definitely got more than his fair share of 15 minutes of fame. Let’s wait and see where this will all lead to for him.