(THE SMOKING GUN) MAY 8–The Cleveland man credited with helping free female captives from a house of horrors is a convicted felon whose rap sheet includes three separate domestic violence convictions that resulted in prison terms, court records show.

Charles Ramsey, whose 911 call and subsequent TV interviews have made him a microcelebrity, was once a repeat spousal abuser whose marriage ended in divorce following a 2003 felony conviction for battering his wife.

Ramsey, 43, has said that when he heard captive Amanda Berry screaming and trying to escape from neighbor Ariel Castro’s home on Monday, “I figured it’s a domestic violence dispute.” Ramsey has also reportedly said that he went to help Berry because he “was raised to help women in distress.”

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