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
Main Suspect in Cleveland Case Has Violent Past
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)

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. (Read more Cleveland Kidnapping stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.