Officer on Women’s Escape: ‘I Couldn’t Believe it’

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CLEVELAND-- For the first time since the May 6 rescue of three kidnapped victims, Cleveland police officers are speaking out about that night.

Officers from the second district were at the union hall Wednesday evening to discuss the details of the rescue of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight.

Berry, with the help of neighbors, was able to get out of the house and call 911.

The officers said when they heard the call dispatched they were hopeful it was really Amanda calling.

“I think all of us in the second district on the west side have seen the flyers,” said Patrol Officer Michael Tracy.  “We’ve all gone to houses; followed up tips. So, it was just amazing to see her there standing, peering through the driver’s side window at me. I couldn’t believe it.”

And the officers soon learned there were two more women in the home.

“All I remember inside the house was that it was very dark. We were yelling police, and it was dead silence, going up the stairs. I felt what I could consider as evil,” said Officer Michael Simon.

Police have arrested the alleged kidnapper Ariel Castro and on Wednesday, officers collected more evidence.

Castro is being held in the county jail for abducting and holding the three women hostage for ten years.

The officers said seeing the victims is something they will never forget.

“Michelle hugged me first,” said Patrol Officer Barbara Johnson. “When someone is clutching you and saying please don’t let me go, it just rips your heart out of your chest.”

And the officers say they don’t consider themselves heroes.

“They are my heroes,” said Officer Anthony Espada. “I mean they were so brave, going through all that for all those years; they are the true heroes here. Personally, they are my heroes; all three of them."
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