Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Is This Man A Hero Or Not? (The Man Who Saved Three Women In Cleveland Had Been Jailed for Beating His Own Wife)

The biggest story in America these days involves the kidnapping of three women, who were held as "sex slaves" by a Latino man in Cleveland for 10 years.  He kept these women in a type of prison in his basement and continually threatened to harm them if they tried to escape.

A kidnapping is when someone "steals" a human being.  A slave is someone who is forced to work for free for another person - a sex slave is someone forced to provide sex to another.

After 10 years of captivity (being held prisoners) one woman was able to scream for help and a man who heard her screaming was able to break the door down and help her and three others gain their freedom. Here's the man:

The man was immediately called a hero.  Indeed, he is a very funny and charming  man and Americans began to really like him.  Unfortunately, a website discovered that this man has been arrested by the police three times for beating his own wife (domestic violence).  His wife ultimately got a divorce from him.  Indeed, he was thrown in jail twice for doing this.

Therefore, it seems ironic that he told journalists that when he heard the woman scream, he thought she was suffering from domestic violence and he wanted to help her.

So the big question is: is this man a hero?  Can we admire a person who saved three women and a child if he, himself, has been abusive to women in the past?  I think it's an interesting topic to think about. 

Many of my students have said, "The past is the past. He did something the police never did and he got these women out of a horrible situation. So he is a hero."  I tend to agree.

Here's an article about the hero:


neighbor - students often get neighbor and neighborhood mixed up.  A neighbor is someone who lives near you, a neighborhood is the general area in which you live.  Many neighborhoods have specific names.  The neighborhood where I grew up in Chicago is called Bucktown.  I now live in Woodside, Queens.

domestic - this refers to "home."  If you take a domestic flight, you take a flight in your home country, not internationally.

abuser - someone who causes harm or injury.

hailed as a hero - to 'hail' someone is to publicly praise the person.  Did you ever hear: "Hail Caesar!" He has been praised as a hero.

to be held captive - to be kept as a prisoner, to be kept against your will.

to be convicted of domestic violence - if a person is convicted of a crime, he has been to court and has had a trial and he has been found 'guilty'

colorful interviews - if you are a colorful person, you are very outgoing and funny and unique.

rocketed him to stardom - he became famous very quickly - as if he rode a rocket to fame.

to be charged with a crime - to be accused of a crime; if you are charged with a crime, someone has claimed you committed a crime and the police have arrested you and have filed the paperwork

to plead 'no contest' - apparently in an American court you can plead 'guilty' 'not guilty' or 'no contest.'  To plead is to basically say, "I am guilty." or "I am not guilty." or "I plead no contest." Before setting the date for a trial a judge will say to you, "How do you plead?"  You'll say, "Not guilty!" (for instance).  Pleading 'no contest' means that you are not pleading either guilty or not guilty, but it basically means that you are guilty.  I really don't understand this legal concept very well to tell you the truth. :P

to be sentenced - a sentence is a punishment.  A judge might say, "I am sentencing you to 2 years in jail!"

to be arrested - this is when a person is captured or taken by the police.

probation - Not everyone who is convicted of a crime goes to jail.  You can receive probation.  This means that you have to see a probation officer once a month and if you are convicted of another crime, you could go to jail for both crimes.

directed to - ordered to. A judge ordered him to get psychological help so that he would stop hitting his wife.

subsequently - afterwards

to file for a divorce - we saw the verb 'to file' in a previous article.  To file a complaint means to write out the complaint and send it in.  To file for a divorce means to submit the paperwork to the court system to get a divorce.

cruelty - a cruel person harms another person or other people without caring

for battering her - for hitting her

to figure - to understand something, to try to understand something.  i.e. "When my friend called me I figured he probably wanted to borrow money because that's the only time he ever calls me."

a dispute - an argument

alleged - apparent.  It has not been proved in court that she was a victim, so the newspapers have to say she is an 'alleged' victim.

"I knew something was wrong..."- he is being humorous.  He's making a joke about racism in America.  He's basically saying that a white woman would only hug a black man if the black man saves her life.

a dead giveaway - slang for "something certain."  i.e. "The police knew he was the killer.  The blood all over his clothes was a dead give away."

suspicion - if you suspect someone did something, you think the person did something.

"I tell you what to do..." - to be honest with you, his English is so bad that I don't even understand it.  I think this is why people in America found him to be funny.

1) What do you think? Was he a hero?  He was eating a sandwich when he heard a woman screaming. He then ran to where the woman was screaming and he kicked her door down and helped her escape.  Police had been to that house in the past and had never helped the 3 women and child who were in there.  If he had not taken action, they might still be in that house.

2)  Do you think it was fair or right for the website to reveal this information about Mr. Ramsey?  After all, the past is the past.  If he had not done what the police had never done, those women would still be suffering.

If you like art, you might like my new blog about artists who show their work in New York City:
Yes, I'm also the guy who created the scandal in Asia awhile ago. :P

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