Kidnappings: Man had history of violence
14 May 2013, 08:18
Chicago - Ariel Castro, the man accused of holding three young women captive for a decade, had a history of violence and threatening behaviour, US police reports released on Monday showed.
But while police questioned Castro on at least eight occasions - including twice while the kidnapped women were trapped in his Cleveland, Ohio home - he was never charged with a crime.
Cleveland's police have come under fire for failing to find the women sooner, but they insist that had no reason to suspect Castro.
Castro, a 52-year-old unemployed bus driver, was arrested last week after one of the victims, 27-year-old Amanda Berry, managed to call out to a neighbour, who kicked in the door to the suspect's home and rescued her and her 6-year-old daughter.
Police broke into the house and found two more women: 23-year-old Gina DeJesus and 32-year-old Michelle Knight. All three had been snatched in separate incidents in 2002, 2003 and 2004.
Police questioned Castro in January 2004 after he left a disabled child on his school bus, allegedly telling the child to "lay down, bitch" while he went to Wendy's to get some food. The case was turned over to the school board.
His ex-wife complained in 2005 that Castro threatened to drive to Indiana and beat her in front of their children if their daughters did not come back to Cleveland to testify against another man, their former stepfather, who stood accused of molesting the girls.
Years earlier in 1989 and 1993, his then-wife had called police to their home after Castro beat her, but declined to press charges.
The first time, she told police that "she was assaulted by the suspect on several other occasions", but made no official complaint.
The second time was just a month after she'd undergone brain surgery, and she told police that Castro threw her to the ground, "hitting her about the head and kicking her".
Police were also called in 1994 when the landlord of a nearby home complained that Castro tried to hit him with a shovel after the landlord asked about a missing fence.
Two years later, his ex-wife's boyfriend called police to say Castro threatened him and nearly ran him over with his car in what was an "ongoing problem".
A former neighbour also complained to police that Castro shouted "I'm gonna get you, bitch" after finding her at her new home in 1996.
He had also got into an altercation with the father of a child who'd been bullied on the bus, when the father tried to get on the bus and deal with the bullies in 1993, police records show.