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Viewers protest story about hero's criminal past

Friday - 5/10/2013, 10:10pm  ET

CLEVELAND (AP) -- It looks like TV viewers still want to hear about the heroism of Charles Ramsey -- rather than about his criminal past.

Amid protests from viewers, a Cleveland TV station took down an online story about the background of Ramsey -- the man who helped free three women who'd been held captive in a neighbor's house for nearly a decade.

The news director at WEWS-TV says the story was factually correct, but that it was written "too soon" in a city where the story of alleged sexual predator Ariel Castro is too raw.

The story never aired on the TV station; it was just posted on its website for a few hours. The station said on its Facebook page Thursday that it had made a "poor judgment call" to talk about Ramsey's past. That message received hundreds of "likes" on Facebook.

Ramsey has become known not just for his actions that helped free the women, but for a colorful series of TV interviews.

In a story about media interest in Ramsey, The Associated Press mentioned that organizations were looking into his past, and that he had served time for domestic violence.

During an interview with Ramsey Thursday, ABC's "Nightline" mentioned his criminal past. Ramsey explained that he had turned his life around.


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