"He likes to grill out, eat McDonald's and listen to salsa music. Charles Ramsey has also just become famous not only for his actions Monday in helping three Cleveland women escape from years of being held captive in a Cleveland house, but also for his interview he gave in detailing the events of the day," Mark Heim reported early Tuesday for al.com, an affiliate of Cleveland.com.
An Australian columnist called Ramsey "America's newest hero." Lacey Mason of Washington's WTOP-AM said, "Charles Ramsey just might be the Internet hero we've been waiting for."
Ramsey actually was interviewed by more than one reporter, including John Kosich of WEWS-TV, the Cleveland ABC affiliate, and Kevin Freeman of WJW-TV, the Fox affiliate.
Heim offered this account: "Michelle Knight, 32, Amanda Berry, 27, and Gina DeJesus, 23, were found at a house in Cleveland Monday after going missing between 2002 and 2004.
"Three brothers were arrested, including 52-year-old Ariel Castro.
"'I heard screaming,' Ramsey told Cleveland's ABC affiliate. 'I'm eating my McDonald's. I come outside. I see this girl going nuts, trying to get out of a house. So I go on the porch, and she says 'help me get out. I've been here a long time.' So you know, I figured it was a domestic dispute. So I opened the door, and we couldn't get in. ... So we kicked the bottom. And she comes out with a little girl and she says, 'call 911. My name is Amanda Berry.'
"Ramsey said he had no idea what was going on at his neighbor's house. 'My neighbor, you got some big testicles to pull this off, bro,' he said. 'Because we see this dude every day. Every day. I mean every day. I barbecue with this dude. We eat ribs and what not and listen to salsa music. You see where I'm coming from? Bro, not a clue that girl was in that house.'"
The reporter then asked him what the reaction was on the girls' faces.
"Bro, I knew something was wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into a black man's arms," Ramsey said. "Something's wrong here. Dead giveaway. Dead giveaway. Dead giveaway. Either she's homeless or she's got problems. That's the only reason she run to a black man. ..."
(This item is from Richard Prince's "Journal-isms,"which is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (mije.org). Reprinted on The Root by permission.)