A Cleveland man says he was the first to rescue kidnap victim Amanda Berry from a Seymour Avenue clapboard house where she and 2 other women were imprisoned for over a decade.
Angel Cordero is staking his claim to the $25,000 reward money offered by police for information leading to the whereabouts of the missing girls.
Charles Ramsey, the neighbor credited with rescuing Berry, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that the money should go to the three kidnap victims, Berry, 27, Gina DeJesus, 24, and Michelle Knight, 32.
Former Cleveland school bus driver Ariel Castro, 52, was formally charged Wednesday with 4 counts of kidnapping and 3 counts of rape. A judge set his bond at $8 million — $2 million for each kidnap charge.
Cordero, who doesn’t speak English, says he was the first to kick in the door after hearing Berry’s screams for help Monday evening. He said Ramsey arrived on the scene only after Berry and her 6-year-old daughter were already rescued — by him.
“I helped her. And I was first,” he told a reporter in Spanish. “The truth — who arrived here, who crossed the street, who broke the door — it was me … I did what had to be done.”
Cordero is the “we” that Ramsey often refers to when recounting the frenzied moments leading up to Berry’s rescue.
Ramsey acknowledged that another neighbor helped him free Berry. But Cordero is busy diminishing the role that Ramsey played in the women’s rescue.
Ramsey was arrested twice for abusing his wife, Rochelle, and their daughter. The domestic abuse cases date back to 1998. He was sentenced to eight months in prison after his 2003 domestic abuse arrest. Rochelle, who married Ramsey on Valentine’s Day in 1995, filed for divorce in 2003.
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