STANVILLE, Ky. - "A month ago, I was a dish washer. Now, they tell me I'm a hero."
The last few weeks have been bewildering to Charles Ramsey, the Cleveland man credited with freeing three women police said were held captive for a decade.
Ramsey could not have imagined the instant celebrity he gained when he was introduced to the world in a live interview on WEWS, our Scripps TV station.
Three weeks later, a bust in the likeness of Ramsey sat at an attorney's office in rural eastern Kentucky, where Ramsey appeared for a meet and greet with adoring fans. It might be the last place Ramsey would have expected to be.
Over the course of three weeks, Ramsey's interview was seen millions of times, and that's just one YouTube clip. He has appeared millions more times elsewhere, including the transformation of his initial interviews into a "songified" version entitled "Dead Giveaway."
Ramsey chose not to speak much publicly after the first few days, but that changed Friday at the office of Eric C. Conn, a disability attorney in Floyd County, Ky., where Ramsey spoke with Matt Jones, of Kentucky Sports Radio, a syndicated show that normally focuses on University of Kentucky athletics.
"I've been on the Internet wondering why I see my face on iTunes without permission," Ramsey said when asked what he's been doing the last few weeks. "I've been on the Internet looking at a videogame that's depicting me in aerial, doing whatever we're doing, without permission."
Ramsey bristles at the notion that he is a hero, admitting he's no angel.
"No good deed goes unpunished, so me finding them girls, 'Good job. Now, we're going to rip you apart,'" Ramsey said. "It's cool, because I don't have no problem hiding it. They say it's public knowledge, public record. I have a history, don't care. I'm probably going to do something tomorrow that's committing a crime. That's me."
Ramsey said he wants justice for Ariel Castro, the neighbor charged with holding the women captive.
"I'm willing to pay his $8 million bond and ship him to Puerto Rico," Ramsey said. "I know on the way there, he'll meet his demise. If not, you get off the plane, you're going to meet your demise. If not, I'm going to pay somebody for you to meet your demise."
Ramsey said if he had known what authorities said went on in his neighbor's house, he'd "be in the penitentiary right now, or on my way there, because I was able to take that dude's head, take it off his body and kick it down the street like a soccer ball."
Ramsey's life has changed in other ways. He's gotten numerous offers of free food and other products and said he has taken McDonald's up every day on an offer of free hamburgers for a year "just to make sure they keep up their word."
"Me and my friend … we go to four or five McDonald's in one day," Ramsey said. "I pull up and they say, 'It's you.' Yeah, give me a Big Mac."
"What I'd rather you do for the city of Cleveland is go give the homeless people them burgers and stop focusing on me," Ramsey said.
Ramsey realized pretty quickly that his life had changed dramatically.
"When I was able to call Anderson Cooper on the phone and he did exactly what I told him to do, I knew this was big," he said. "This has gone totally Hollywood, but I'm still focused on what those girls have been through for the past 10 years, you know what I mean? I'm not the hero. Amanda Berry is. I didn't go through nothing."
Ramsey admitted enjoying some of the perks of celebrity, including a conversation with Snoop Dogg.
"We blew this dude off three times. He had to send me a picture because I didn't believe it," Ramsey said. "I been begging him to come to Cleveland for three weeks, and if you listen to this, come to Cleveland or I'm going to be mad."
Ramsey said at he just did what anyone should do in his situation.
"Some males hesitate when I go, 'You'd have done the same thing, right?'" Ramsey said. "If you hesitate, that's going to tee me off because you're spineless, you're a jellyfish. You mean no good to the opposite sex."