Neighbour saw a girl 'going nuts' at Cleveland hostage house
Rescuer who was first on the scene is hailed a hero as TV interview goes viral on internet
The neighbour who helped rescue Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight was being hailed as a hero as his interview with a local television network went viral on the internet.
With his wild hair and twanging drawl, Charles Ramsey gave his account of the moment Berry saw fresh air and begged him to call 911.
"I'm eating my McDonald's, I come outside, and I see this girl going nuts, trying to get out of the house," Ramsey told NBC station WKYC-TV.
"So I go over there ... and I say, 'Can I help? What's going on?'
"I got on the porch and she said, 'Help me get out. I've been here a long time.' I figured it was a domestic violence dispute. So I open the door.
"And we can't get in that way 'cause of how the door is, it's so much that a body can't fit through - only your hand.
"We kicked the bottom. And she comes out with a little girl and she says, 'Call 911. My name is Amanda Berry.'
"I knew something was wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into a black man's arms, and I thought, something is wrong here. Dead giveaway. Dead giveaway. Either she homeless or she got problems, that the only reasons she run to a black man."
After police arrived, Berry explained there were other women inside. When police came out with them, Ramsey said: "It was astonishing."
Ramsey said he had been to barbecues given by the 52-year-old man who lived in the house.
"My neighbour, you've got some big testicles to pull this off bro, because we see him every day," Ramsey said. "I barbecue with this dude, we eat ribs and whatnot, listen to salsa music."
Asked if he had any clue about his neighbour's actions, Ramsey said: "Bro, not a clue that that girl was in that house, or anybody was in there against their will, because how he is, is he just comes out to his backyard, he plays with the dogs, tinkers with his cars and motorcycles, goes back in the house.
"So he's somebody that you look and you look away because he's not doin' nothin' but the average stuff, you see what I'm saying?
"Ain't nothin' exciting about him. Well, until today."
Little is known about Ramsey, but his television interview caused a hail of tweets.
One of the top ones was written by comedian Patton Oswalt, who said: "Dear Charles Ramsey, I am not a little pretty white girl, but I totally want to run into your black arms. #hero."
Associated Press, Agence France-Presse