Charles Ramsey, the Cleveland man hailed as a national hero for rescuing three missing women who had been held captive for a decade, has a criminal past. Newly released court documents show that despite his heroism, he has been arrested several times for domestic violence and has served more than one prison sentence.
According to documents obtained by The Smoking Gun, Ramsey was arrested three separate times for domestic violence, in 1997, 1998 and 2003. Each time, he was arrested for battery against his wife, Rochelle.
On Tuesday, Ramsey became an Internet sensation after he saved Amanda Berry and two other women from a Cleveland area home, where they had been held hostage for 10 years. An interview with Ramsey describing the incident quickly went viral on the Web.
Ramsey's first offense came in February 1997. At his Cleveland Municipal Court date a year later, he entered a no-contest plea and was found guilty.
Ramsey was again arrested for domestic violence in July 1998 while awaiting sentencing for his first offense. The two offenses appear to have been consolidated into a six-month jail sentence. When released from jail, Ramsey was reportedly placed on probation for five years.
Other documents obtained by The Smoking Gun reveal that police issued an arrest warrant for Ramsey after he violated terms of his probation. However, the documents do not disclose whether or not he was arrested after the warrant was issued.
When Ramsey was also arrested for domestic violence in 2003, he was charged with a felony: “domestic violence with prior conviction.” After he left prison, Ramsey and his wife divorced. Previously, he and Rochelle lived together in Cleveland Heights with two children, one of which was Rochelle’s from a prior relationship.
The Smoking Gun also took the time to interview Rochelle, who revealed that Ramsey had difficulty paying his child support for years and even had his driver's license taken away due to non-payment. Currently, Ramsey’s daughter is 15 and appears to live with Rochelle and her new husband.
Watch a full video of Ramsay’s interview below.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes political reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.