Neighbors: We Told Cops About Cleveland House
At least two say they reported suspicious activity at Ariel Castro home
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2013 3:48 PM CDT
This undated combination photo released by the Cleveland Police Department shows from left, Onil Castro, Ariel Castro, and Pedro Casto.   (AP Photo/Cleveland Police Department)

(Newser) – Cleveland police say they're still figuring out charges against 52-year-old Ariel Castro, accused of keeping three women captive in his home with the apparent help of brothers Onil, 50, and Pedro, 54. Meanwhile, more apparent missed opportunities by police are emerging, with these two getting prominent play:

  • A woman who lives three houses away tells AP she called police several years ago after her daughter saw a naked woman crawling in Castro's backyard. "But they didn't take it seriously," says Elsie Clinton.
  • Another neighbor tells MSNBC that he called police in 2011 when his sister saw a woman banging on a window as if she wanted to escape. "The cops came. They pounded on that man’s door around 15, 20 times, real hard. They looked in the driveway, they got back in the squad car and left."
A city safety official, however, says "we have no indications that any of the neighbors, bystanders, witnesses or anyone else has ever called regarding any information, regarding activity that occurred at that house."

The Plain Dealer, meanwhile, reports that Ariel has a history of violence. In 2005, his ex-wife accused him of beating her, and a court document lists broken ribs, dislocated shoulders, a blood clot on the brain, a twice-broken nose, and a knocked-out tooth. Ariel Castro also had at least one nasty dispute with a neighbor that ended up in court. And yet quotes like this also keep turning up in stories: "He was always happy, nice, respectful," says Juan Perez, who lives two houses away. "He gained trust with the kids and with the parents. You can only do that if you're nice." Few details are available on the brothers, who did not live in Ariel's home.

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May 8, 2013 11:42 AM CDT
Hell Yes Obama Lets hire MORE ASSHOLE COPS,,. MAKE SURE THAT ARE UNIONS ASSHOLES TO BOOT That way we get the most expensive, most benefited lazy assholes out there,, Yes more cops will fix it all, Ask Obama !!!
May 8, 2013 8:29 AM CDT
every article i read about this case basically ends up telling me that the cops did absolutely NOTHING to solve this case, it literally took the girl to kick down a door and present herself to the police screaming.. the police had apparently been to the castro house- WITH REASON TO BELIEVE that there was someone being held captive, or at the very least suspicious activity going on- at least 5 times over the course of the decade.. you think after the " i see a woman trying to escape from inside " and the " theres a naked woman crawling on the lawn " calls that the police would do more than just knock on the door and then go refill on their coffees and donuts
May 8, 2013 5:09 AM CDT
what's all the excitement about...everyone SAYS that these were very *good boys* and *nice men*...even children liked them and you don't get THAT unless you're nice !!!Now there's a real benchmark for nice..being able to delude and fool impressionable,naieve and gullible youngsters. Besides, look at the pictures of these nice don't they look the epitome of *NICE* guys??? wouldn't you let them in your door if they appeared on your porch??? Wow...somebody REALLY dropped the ball on this one.