Charles Ramsey is the neighbor who helped save three women and apparently a child from living in captivity in brutal conditions in Cleveland, Ohio. He also gave a couple interviews that, for dubious reasons, led the Internet to turn him into a meme. Now it turns out that Ramsey has a few convictions to his name.
Where else but over at The Smoking Gun would court documents appear, showing that Ramsey had three prior domestic violence convictions, for which he served multiple stints of jail time in Ohio's Lorain Correctional Institution between 1998 and 2003? Ramsey said he initially opened the door for Amanda Berry because he thought she was trying to escape from a domestic violence dispute.
Ramsey was married to a woman named Rochelle, who eventually divorced him while he was serving time for the second domestic violence incident. Here's a good example of just how screwed up Ramsey's rap sheet is:
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.
After Ramsey served six months for those two charges, he was sentenced again for eight months for "domestic violence with prior conviction," in 2003. Prior to the domestic violence charges, Ramsey also did "two separate one-year stretches at Lorain, for early-90s convictions for drug abuse, criminal trespassing, and receiving stolen property," The Smoking Gun reports.
Charles Ramsey is still a hero for the good he did. He undeniably helped save three women from a horrific situation that's straight out of the worst, most exploitive horror movie you can imagine. But that doesn't change the reality that he has a history of violence himself.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.