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Charles Ramsey: Hero of Amanda Berry rescue

Charles Ramsey doesn't want a reward. Charles Ramsey says he's "a Christian and an American" who did the right thing in responding to Amanda Berry's calls for help.

By Staff writer / May 8, 2013

Charles Ramsey talks about the rescue of Amanda Berry in Cleveland, Ohio.

On Monday, Charles Ramsey became a national hero.

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Ramsey is the next door neighbor to Ariel Castro, who allegedly held three women captive in a Cleveland home for more than a decade.

Ramsey says shortly after he'd returned home from McDonald's on Monday, he heard "a girl going nuts" at the Castro house.

It was Amanda Berry. But Ramsey didn't know who she was. He'd lived next door to Ariel Castro and barbequed with him in the back yard. But he'd never seen this young woman before. 

"She said help me get out," he says. "I figured it was a domestic violence dispute," he told The Associated Press. The door would only open a crack, so he told her to kick out the screen.  "She comes out with a little girl and says 'Call 911.'

She told Ramsey she was Amanda Berry. He says it didn't register who she was until he was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher. "I'm calling 911 for Amanda Berry? I thought this girl was dead!"

Talking about Ariel Castro, the homeowner who is now charged with three counts of rape and four counts of kidnapping, Ramsey said he had no indication that three women were being held hostage in the house. "I barbequed with this dude. I ate ribs and listened to salsa music [with him]. You see where I'm coming from?"

The Ramsey TV interviews have gone viral on the Internet and been autotuned already. In his various interviews, Ramsey mentions his trip to McDonald's shortly before discovering Amanda Berry. McDonald's Corp. tweeted:

"We salute the courage of Ohio kidnap victims & respect their privacy. Way to go Charles Ramsey- we'll be in touch."

In an interview Tuesday night, CNN's Anderson Cooper asked Ramsey what it felt like to be living next door to Ariel Castro.

Ramsey replied: "That's why now I'm having trouble sleeping. See, up until yesterday, the only thing that kept me from losing sleep was the lack of money. See what I'm saying? Now that that's going on and I could have done this last year, not this hero stuff, just do the right thing ..."

Does Ramsey feel like a hero?

"No. No, no, no. Bro, I'm a Christian and an American, I'm just like you," he told Anderson Cooper. "We bleed the same blood. Put our pants on the same way... It's just that you got to put that being a coward, 'I don't want to get into anybody's business,' you got to put that away for a minute.

And Ramsey says he has no interest in the FBI reward offered for the missing women.

"Take that reward and give it to them," he said.

[Editor's Note: Original article reflected the detention of three Castro brothers. The article was updated Thursday to reflect charges brought against Ariel Castro, and that no charges were filed against his two brothers]

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