Restaurant Hawks Charles Ramsey T-Shirts, But ‘Cleveland Hero’ Has Checkered Past

All proceeds will be given to the families of the three victims

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Charles Ramsey has become an internet celebrity after helping Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight escape Monday evening from a home near downtown Cleveland where suspect Ariel Castro allegedly held them captive for about a decade.

Ramsey went on to do an interview on local TV that went viral and got the auto-tune treatmentMcDonald’s gave him a thumbs-up on Twitter for talking about eating Big Macs when he noticed there was trouble, and now Hodge’s Cleveland, the restaurant where the 43-year-old man works as a dishwasher, has made t-shirts with his name, face and “Cleveland’s Hero” plastered on the front:


(MORE: Captive in Cleveland: 5 New Things We Know and 5 We Still Don’t Know)

The tees are available online for $20 each via onpoint store, and Hodge’s Cleveland is donating all of the proceeds to the victims’ families. The restaurant purposefully decided not to sell the tees in the restaurant so that it could “focus on raising funds for victims not foot traffic at restaurant,” according to its Twitter. It also says the t-shirt company is the same one that made the Boston Strong t-shirts.

While Ramsey has been touted as a local hero in the Cleveland abduction case, his actions have not always been heroic. The Associated Press reports that he served time in jail in the late 1990s for domestic violence. First charged with domestic violence in February 1997, and then in August 1998, Ramsey was “ordered to serve six months in jail, placed on five years probation, and directed to attend a domestic violence counseling program,” The Smoking Gun reports. Less than a year later, he violated probation terms. Ramsey got divorced from his wife in 2003 after a felony conviction for “battering his wife”  (for which he pleaded guilty) and then spent eight months in prison at the Lorain Correctional Institution.

MORE: The 911 Call That Led to the Cleveland Women’s Dramatic Escape