Accused Kidnapper Ariel Castro Beat Wife, Threatened Neighbors, Police Records Say

May 14, 2013 Comments Off on Accused Kidnapper Ariel Castro Beat Wife, Threatened Neighbors, Police Records Say

Accused Kidnapper Ariel Castro Beat Wife, Threatened Neighbors, Police Records Say

Cleveland cops were summoned six times to handle accusations that accused kidnapper Ariel Castro had assaulted or menaced people, including three alleged beatings of his wife, but he was only convicted once and was never sentenced to any prison time.

One of the accusations against Castro was that he battered his wife while she was recovering from brain surgery, according to newly released police records.

It is unclear whether any of the reported incidents could have led police to the three women allegedly held as sex slaves for a decade in his house, but the number of times his name pops up in the Cleveland police database is far more than the two incidents police originally reported.

There was no immediate response today from police or prosecutors….

Castro’s ex-wife, Grimilda Figueroa, who died last year, first accused Castro of assault in 1989, 1993 and again in 2005, three years after he allegedly abducted his first victim Michelle Knight in 2002.

Castro was “a monster,” according to Figueroa’s family members who spoke to ABC News last week on the condition of anonymity. He was “nice when he was outside but behind closed doors he was an animal. Two faced. He had done terrible things to her [Figueroa] and treated her like trash.”

Ariel Castro, Cleveland suspect, has a dark past that foreshadowed crimes he’s now accused of
By Manuel Roig-Franzia, Jerry Markon and Luz Lazo, Published: May 11

Cleveland — Shorty needed a ride home.

She got confused sometimes, the result of some undefined mental condition, and wasn’t always sure where she’d wandered. Her family knew this about Michelle “Shorty” Knight, all 4 feet 7 inches of her, and that’s why they worried.

She got in a car.

It begins there, with that simple act, a 21-year-old — in many ways still very much a girl — got in a car. Aug. 22, 2002. If she’d looked up in that last moment of freedom, she would have seen a church steeple.

Eight months later, another girl. Same road. Two-tenths of a mile away.

Mandy had just finished her shift at Burger King, was still in her Burger King hat and shirt. Tomorrow would be Amanda “Mandy” Berry’s 17th birthday; a party was planned.

She got in a car.

The hunter of girls had found a rich hunting ground, a stretch of road clotted with used-automobile lots, discount jewelers, fast-food joints — and schoolgirls.

A year later, April 2, 2004, the hunter was back. Gina, just 14, was walking home with friends from Wilbur Wright Middle School, a stately brick building set on a shaded street two blocks from Burger King. Georgina “Gina” DeJesus broke off on her own, steps away from the spot where Knight was taken.

A car pulled up. The driver was the father of one of her best friends.

She got in the car.

For the next nine years, authorities say, Knight, Berry and De­Jesus together endured an excruciating ordeal as captives in a seemingly normal house on a seemingly normal street in a busy residential neighborhood less than four miles away. Until their remarkable rescue last week, authorities say, they were physically, sexually and psychologically abused by their captor, Ariel Castro, a school bus driver who played salsa music in nightclubs and harbored a dark past that foreshadowed the crimes he’s now accused of committing.

At Castro’s home on Seymour Avenue, he chained the young women in his basement, according to a police report. Eventually, investigators say, he moved them to the second floor of his house, a two-story place with a small back yard, a saggy porch, peeling paint and faded white siding. Most of the time, they were trapped inside, and on the rare occasions they were allowed to venture into the yard, Castro forced them to wear wigs and sunglasses, the report says. He told them to keep their heads down.

Castro, now 52, raped all his captives, authorities say….

In the beginning, the romance between the 20-something Ariel Castro and Grimilda Figueroa went fine. But it quickly deteriorated.

In the early 1990s, the unmarried couple lived on the second floor of the home of Figueroa’s parents. Once, Castro shoved Figueroa down a steep flight of stairs, family members recall. Her father, aided by a pack of neighbors and relatives, beat Castro in retaliation. He didn’t fight back. “He didn’t fight no man,” Figueroa Jr. says.

Things only got worse when the couple moved to their own place; Castro’s beatings of his common-law wife became more frequent and more severe, Figueroa’s relatives say.

He exhibited strange, domineering traits. Grimilda Figueroa became a near-prisoner in her home, a sister, Elida Caraballo, says. Castro padlocked doors from the outside when he left. One day, Caraballo went into their house and saw Castro shoving Figueroa into a cardboard box and closing the lid….

More recently, neighbors say police have been contacted at least twice in the past two years because of suspicious activity. The first time, neighbor Elsie Cintron says she called police after spotting a child’s face in an attic window and hearing banging. Officers responded, Cintron says, but left when no one answered the knocks at Castro’s door. The next time, her son Israel Lugo says, a group of elderly women who were exercising in the area called police. According to Lugo, the women and his sister had all seen a naked woman on all fours with a dog collar around her neck in Castro’s back yard. Cleveland police say they have no record of the calls….

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