“I heard screaming,” he said. “I’m eating my McDonald’s. I come outside. I see this girl going nuts trying to get out of a house.”
Neighbor Anna Tejeda was sitting on her porch with friends when they heard someone across the street kicking a door and yelling. Tejeda said one of her friends went over and told Berry how to kick the screen out of the bottom of the door, which allowed her to crawl out.
Tejeda said Berry, dressed in pajamas and old sandals, was nervous and crying.
At first Tejeda said she didn’t want to believe who the young woman was. “You’re not Amanda Berry,” she insisted. “Amanda Berry is dead.”
But when Berry told her she had been kidnapped and held captive, Tejeda said, she gave the young woman a telephone to call police, who arrived within minutes and then took the other women from the house.
In her 911 call Monday, Berry declared: “I’m Amanda Berry. I’ve been on the news for the last 10 years.”
Police said Knight disappeared in 2002 at age 20 and is 32 now. Berry, now 27, disappeared at age 16 on April 21, 2003, when she called her sister to say she was getting a ride home from her job at a Burger King. About a year later, DeJesus vanished at age 14 on her way home from school.
They were found just a few miles from where they disappeared.
Police identified the three suspects as Ariel Castro, 52; Pedro Castro, 54; and Onil Castro, 50.
Attempts to reach Ariel Castro in jail were unsuccessful. There was no public phone listing for the home, which was being searched by dozens of police officers and sheriff’s deputies.
Police did go to the house twice in the past 15 years, officials said.
In 2000, before the women vanished, Ariel Castro reported a fight in the street, but no arrests were made, Public Safety Director Martin Flask said.