Charles Ramsey does an interview with “Good Morning America” (May 8, 2013)
*McDonald’s wasted no time in seizing upon its mention in the horrific Cleveland kidnapping.
The fast-food chain says it’s reaching out to Charles Ramsey, who has gained worldwide fame as one of the rescuers of the three women held for a decade in a Cleveland home.
Ramsey said in a TV interview that he was eating some Mickey D’s when the action unfolded Monday. He also cited his McDonald’s meal during a 911 call.
The McDonald’s PR team pounced.
First the company tweeted: “We salute the courage of Ohio kidnap victims & respect their privacy. Way to go Charles Ramsey — we’ll be in touch.”
Then the company kept its word by attempting to track down Ramsey through its local franchisee, possibly the same one that sold him his food.
Danya Proud, a spokeswoman for McDonald’s, was quoted as saying that the company wanted to show its respect for the sensitivity of the situation by speaking with Ramsey directly, rather than communicating through the media, even though it had already done just that.
“This is a very tragic situation and we can’t lose sight of that,” she said.
Below, Ramsey does an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America.”
Brian Banks, 26, freed of rape and kidnapping charges after serving 5 years in prison and 5 years of probation. During an undercover investigation, his former classmate admitted to making up the story.
*There are many inmates professing their innocence from behind bars, but this morning we tell a powerful story of freedom for a young man that fought to have his name cleared after prison.
Thanks to a sensible judge and a recanted story, the wrongly accused young man has been freed.
Brian Banks, 26, walks free today after being accused of rape when he was only 17. He was a high school football superstar that had been awarded a full scholarship (more…)
*Church just isn’t what it used to be. Dale Richardson, a man who for the past year served as the pastor of Freedom Free Will Baptist Church, is locked up for kidnapping and rape.
According to the Huffington Post, Richardson was saved at a tent revival 32 years ago, was called to preach the Lord’s word in 2006 and, for the past year, had served as pastor at Freedom Free Will Baptist Church, a modest red brick structure on a South Carolina side road running along a railroad track.
Now he’s in jail, charged with kidnapping and raping three women at gunpoint – two of them in a trailer behind the church – and kidnapping a fourth who was not sexually assaulted.
According to an incident report, about noon on a Saturday last month, Richardson picked up a woman and gave her a ride. When the 20-year-old tried to get out of the car, Richardson allegedly pulled a gun, bound her hands, covered her head and took her to the gray-blue trailer home behind the church.
The report said he later dropped the woman in a wooded area, threatening to shoot her if she turned around. Police said the woman was able to identify Richardson from his picture on the church website, which also displays a short biography detailing how he became a Christian and then a pastor.
Richardson has since been charged with two other similar sexual assaults, both of which occurred last year. He is accused of bringing one of those women to the church trailer. The third woman claims she was raped in a wooded area outside nearby Summerville, a bedroom community about 20 miles northwest of Charleston. He is also charged with kidnapping a fourth woman.
*TMZ is reporting that Shaquille O’Neal is caught in the middle of a criminal case in which seven gang members allegedly kidnapped, assaulted and robbed a man who claimed to have a tape showing Shaq having sex with other women while he was married to Shaunie.
Law enforcement sources tell the website that Ladell Rowles, a member of the Main Street Mafia Crip Gang in L.A. who is friends with Shaq, joined six other gang members on a search and destroy mission in L.A. on February 11, 2008. They believed a man named Robert Ross had the sex tape and they tried getting it back by force.
According to the police report, the seven gang members met up with Ross at the Sunset Strip convenience store Pink Dot. The men allegedly surrounded Ross’ Rolls Royce Phantom with guns drawn, jumped into Ross’ car and ordered him to drive to Rowles’ house in South Central L.A.
Once there, Rowles allegedly pistol-whipped Ross and demanded that he turn over the sex tape. Ross said he would get the tape and bring it back to them. The seven men then allegedly took Ross’ Rolex, diamond chain and earrings, along with $15,000 in cash — then let Ross go.
The seven men have been arrested and charged with robbery, kidnapping and other crimes. They are currently in the middle of a preliminary hearing and being held in jail.
According to TMZ, LAPD detectives interviewed Shaq to determine what, if any, involvement he had in the alleged crimes. When the case file went to the D.A. Shaq was not listed as a suspect.
TMZ is also reporting that Ross has a history with Shaq.
Shaq and his business manager, Mark Stevens, have a record label and allegedly told Ross they would give him a 50% cut in any artists he brought to them. Ross claims he delivered Ray J to Shaq but got cut out of the deal, according to the website.
Ross told cops after his falling out, he threatened Shaq by telling him about the sex tape, threatening to release it unless Shaq paid up.
As for the tape, Ross claims Shaq brought women to Ross’ home and had sex with them while he was married to Shaunie. Ross told Shaq a “security camera” captured the action and it was all on tape. But Ross told cops the security camera recycles periodically and the video no longer exists.
And there’s another twist. Around the time Shaq and Ross had their falling out, Shaunie separated from Shaq and Ross claims he began having an affair with her. Ross claims Shaq hired a private investigator to tail Shaunie and the P.I. caught the two together.
*The woman accused of kidnapping 3-week-old Carlina White from New York’s Harlem Hospital more than 20 years ago – and then raising the child as her own in Connecticut – has been indicted on a kidnapping charge.
On Thursday, the federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York said Ann Pettway, 49, “willfully and knowingly” seized the child, reports CNN. Pettway turned herself in last month, FBI spokesman William Reiner said.
Currently being held without bail, Pettway is expected to enter a plea at a hearing scheduled for Feb. 24. If convicted, she faces up to 20 years to life in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.
According to court documents filed last month, Pettway admitted to taking the girl in 1987 after suffering several miscarriages. White became suspicious when Pettway could never produce her birth certificate or Social Security card.
The young woman solved the mystery of her background and tracked down her birth parents earlier this year, though in a recent interview, her mother, Joy White, said that she and her daughter, now 23, are again estranged.
The schism apparently developed after Carlina discovered her parents had gone through a $750,000 negligence settlement from Harlem Hospital.
*NBC’s “Today” show reported this morning that the emotional roller coaster accompanying the remarkable story of Carlina White has taken another major dip.
Kidnapped as an infant from a Bronx hospital and raised in Connecticut, Carlina tracked down her birth parents and joyfully reunited with them last month after a 23-year separation. Only now, says Joy White, she is again estranged from her daughter, as was revealed in a teary interview Tuesday.
“It’s been pretty tough,” said White. “I wanted to have a relationship with my daughter.” She now feels like she has lost her daughter twice, and Carlina has, according to her birth mother, grown distant and mercenary.
Carlina White would not comment to “Today” and will only speak for money, it was reported.
Carlina White, a.k.a. Nejdra Nance
Once the discovery of Carlina’s true background was made – she had contacted the hotline of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children – Carlina, who was going by the name Nejdra Nance, came to the Bronx to meet her birth parents. After a four-day reunion, Carlina returned to Atlanta, where she lives, then came back to the Bronx a day later to be photographed and tell her story to the New York Post, “Today’s” Meredith Vieira reported.
“I was on such a high when I was reunited with my daughter,” said Joy White “I was floating on air. Everything seemed so great.”
But on the second visit it could be detected that Carlina acted distant, according to Joy, who also admitted there may have been a loyalty conflict brought on by pressure from the other family of Carlina – who has gone back to using the name Nejdra Nance.
“It really hurts,” said Joy White, who described herself as “heartbroken, but I do understand that is her family. She was brought up by them. She’s with that family. That’s all she knows. [But] I’m her mother. It hurts not to have my daughter. I want her back.”
Ann Pettway awaits her fate over kidnapping charges stemming from the 1987 abduction of Carlina White. Carlina still feels part of the Pettway family.
There are also questions about a $750,000 settlement Joy White and her husband received from the hospital after the kidnapping. White said a major portion of that money was put into trust for Carlina until the time she turned 21. As she is now 23, the money is “gone,” said White, also speaking for her husband, Carl Tyson. “We both had to live.” They also have two other children.
“I’m disappointed, because this was a miracle that happened. It’s mind-blowing,” said White. “It hurts me that it’s about money.”
Presenting a conflicting view on CBS’s “The Early Show” on Tuesday, Tyson said, “I speak to my daughter every morning and text her.” He made no mention of any problems, except for the distance between him and Atlanta. “I just wish she were close to me,” he said. [Click hereto watch Tyson's CBS interview.]
In other developments surrounding the case, NBC News reported that FBI and law authorities were tipped off six years ago about Carlina’s situation but failed to follow through. In addition, alleged kidnapper Ann Pettway is facing a delay of at least two more weeks in a grand jury’s decision in her case.