Records: Cleveland Suspect Faced Prior Complaints

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  • CLEVELAND (AP) — A man charged with holding three women captive for about a decade had been accused of threatening his neighbors, attacking his common-law wife and committing violations during his career as a school bus driver, according to records released Monday.

    The Cleveland police reports correspond with accounts provided by relatives of suspect Ariel Castro last week that portrayed a man prone to violent outbursts, especially when it came to the mother of his children and incursions onto his property.

    Castro, 52, is charged with kidnapping and rape, but prosecutors expect to file more charges. The three women whom he is accused of holding captive disappeared between August 2002 and April 2004. They were rescued last week when one of them escaped the home.

    The records released Monday were produced by police officers investigating complaints against Castro. They do not track what happened to the complaints after they were taken.

    Several of Castro’s relatives and acquaintances have said allegations of violence are at odds with the man they knew, whom they described as polite, a “cool” bass player and a “sweet, happy person.”

    A veteran defense attorney now representing Castro, Craig Weintraub, did not respond to phone and email messages Monday seeking comment on the current and prior allegations. A public defender had represented Castro at his initial court appearance but said she couldn’t speak to his guilt or innocence.

    SEPT. 30, 1989:

    Grimilda Figueroa called police and reported that Castro, her “common-law husband of nine years,” attacked her after she asked him where he was going with one of his brothers. After slapping Figueroa several times, “he then grabbed her and slammed her several times against the wall and several times against the washing machine,” according to the report.

    Figueroa, who died of cancer last year, was treated at a hospital for a bruised right shoulder, the report said. She told police she had been assaulted by Castro several other times but didn’t report it.

    Figueroa was referred to the prosecutor’s office, according to the report. There is no court record of any charge having been filed.

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    MARCH 10, 1993:

    Two parents tried to board Castro’s school bus because their son had been getting assaulted, records show.

    The parents told police they had begun accompanying him to the bus stop in the morning. On that day, “another such incident occurred in their presence,” the report said.

    “At which time, they got on the bus to stop it. However were shoved by the driver,” the report said. Castro claimed that the parent shoved him back into his seat.

    There were no injuries reported, according to the report, which said the case was turned over to the Cleveland city schools. There’s no court record of any charges.

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    DEC. 26, 1993:

    Figueroa again reported Castro, telling police he threw her to the ground, hit her about the head and face and kicked her body. Her son then fled out the front door and Castro chased him, according to the report, which said Figueroa locked the door and Castro couldn’t get back in. He ran away when police arrived, and was chased by officers through a neighboring yard and arrested, the report said.

    Figueroa told police that she had brain surgery a month before the attack and was prone to seizures, but then refused medical attention.

    Although Figueroa told police the next day she didn’t want to pursue charges, a city prosecutor filed charges of domestic violence and disorderly conduct. Records show Castro pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct on Dec. 28; a grand jury declined to charge him with domestic violence, county records show.

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