Scott Shaw / The Plain Dealer
Charles Ramsey talks to media as people congratulate him on helping some women get out of a home in the 2200 block of Seymour Ave on May 6, 2013.
Cleveland’s most camera-ready hero may now also be its best fed.
More than a dozen Ohio restaurants and at least one in Pennsylvania have pledged free burgers for life to Charles Ramsey, the Big Mac-munching man who was credited with helping a woman escape from the home where she had been held captive, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
Ramsey mentioned in numerous interviews earlier this month that he had been chowing down on a McDonald's burger when he heard screams from the house across the street, spurring the fast-food giant to tweet they would “be in touch.”
The hometown hamburger homages began with an 8-ounce Angus beef patty with a secret sauce devised by Chris Hodgson, chef at the downtown restaurant where Ramsey works as a dishwasher.
“He’s calm in the face of crazy and hectic things going on,” Hodgson told the Cleveland Plain Dealer after police rescued Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight from the house where they were allegedly held captive and raped for a decade. “He always steps up to do anything you ask.”
The “Ramsey Burger” started out as a temporary menu item, but has since become permanent and the idea has spread to other restaurants, according to the Plain Dealer.
“We want to honor our local hero with local food,” Cleveland restaurateur Scott Kuhn told the paper. “He stopped his meal midway through to help those women. We’re now making sure he has other opportunities to go out and fully enjoy his burger.”
Ramsey gained instant celebrity with his candid and profanity-flecked retellings of how he kicked in the door of suspect Ariel Castro’s home so Amanda Berry and her child could climb out.
But the man, who has been traveling on paid leave according to the Plain Dealer, said he didn’t have any choice but to help.
“My father would have whupped the hell out of me if I cowered out,” Ramsey told a reporter after the rescue.