So emotional. In the moment that Michelle was rescued from Ariel Castro’s basement on May 6, after 11 years in captivity, she latched onto police officer Barbara Johnson.
Four police officers, who were some of the first on the scene to rescue Michelle Knight, Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry on May 6, gave heartfelt and emotional testimonies on May 15, describing what they experienced and felt inside the Cleveland, Ohio home of Ariel Castro.
Michelle Knight Rescue
“Michelle hugged me first, then clutched me and said, ‘Don’t let me go’,” police officer Barbara Johnson said at an awards ceremony for the officers involved in the rescue on May 15. “You can’t really describe how I felt…it rips the heart out of my chest.”
Barbara spent five to six hours at MetroHealth Medical Center with the three women to comfort them after the rescue, according to Cleveland Plain Dealer. “You try and forget about this, but you can’t ever forget something like this,” she added.
“When I heard there were people in the house, I ran up to the door, but it was locked from the inside,” officer Michael Simon said. “So I grabbed the hand rail by the stairs to use as a prying tool…but the other officers kicked the door in. Once inside, I felt evil in the house.”
“I’ve broke down (crying) a few times on the scene, and in private since then,” officer Anthony Espada, the first officer on the scene, admitted. “Those three girls are my heroes… after what went through in that house all those years.”
Ariel Castro Arrested & Charged After Abduction
Ariel Castro, 52, was arrested and charged with kidnapping and rape after Amanda escaped from the Cleveland, Ohio home on May 6 and called for help. All three women were rescued.
Michelle, Amanda and Gina allegedly told police Ariel abducted them, held them captive and sexually assaulted them.
While the officers acknowledge they are heroes, they say that Amanda, Gina and Michelle, who were held captive in the Seymour Ave. house for 10 to 12 years, are the true heroes.
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— Chris Rogers