Charles Ramsey, the 43-year-old Cleveland man who helped rescue three women and a child after alleged years of sexual abuse on May 6, has rejected "free burgers for life" offers from restaurants.
In rejecting the offer, Ramsey said through his attorney Patricia Walker that attention and the support should be going to the victims – Amanda Berry, her daughter; Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight.
Ramsey gained worldwide acclaim when he stopped eating his McDonald's Big Mac to help free Berry, who was trying to escape through a door of the house where she and other women were held.
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Videos of Ramsey's hamburger description went viral. Restaurants began paying homage to him soon after the rescue. Hodges and Pura Vida in downtown Cleveland, where Ramsey works as a dishwasher, created the Ramsey Burger.
Chef co-owner Chris Hodgson described the sandwich as an 8-ounce burger of Certified Angus Beef with a secret sauce. At Ramsey's request, the burger has now been removed from the menu.
Hodgson's partner, Scott Kuhn, owner of the Driftwood Restaurant Group, then pushed for a "Chuck Card" that Ramsey could use to get a free hamburger in any of the participating restaurants.
That led to more than a dozen restaurants pledging to serve Ramsey a free burger anytime he wishes.
"The Ramsey burger was named to honor an employee at a time he indicated he would be returning to his job at Hodge's. It was not developed to generate additional revenue for the restaurant – nor has it," the statement from the restaurant said. "We are saddened to hear that Chuck did not take this – or the offer of so many Cleveland restaurants to give him free meals – in the spirit we intended."
Walker said Ramsey was "disgusted" by an online video game produced in Taiwan that features him. The video game reportedly depicts him and Ariel Castro, the man accused of holding the women hostages, throwing hamburgers at each other.
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"I want everyone to know that I have nothing to do with this trash," Ramsey said in a written statement through the Medina firm of Walker & Jocke.
Walker also said Ramsey has not authorized any merchandise and has no website or social media accounts.
Walker said Ramsey hired her seeking protection with intellectual and property rights, seeking more control over his likeness, name and voice.
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