Food Daily Dish

Restaurants offer Ohio hero Charles Ramsey burgers for life; McDonald's?

Charles Ramsey had a Big Mac in hand when he went to help the Cleveland kidnapping victims escape years of captivity. As a reward for his help in the women's release, he's going to get more free hamburgers than you'd really wish on anyone.

With his "Chuck Card," according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the hero can walk into more than a dozen northeastern Ohio restaurants and order a hamburger free of charge anytime, any day for the rest of his natural life.

MORE: McDonald's replies -- free food for a year

It's an outpouring of appreciation for Ramsey, who works as a dishwasher at local restaurant Hodges. Meanwhile, McDonald's gets another kick in the shins with this latest twist in the Ramsey story.

Ramsey told WKYC-TV after the May 6 rescue that he had just gotten home from McDonald's when he heard screaming inside the home next door, and he and another neighbor ran to help.

"This girl’s kicking the door and screaming, and so I go over there with my Big Mac, and I say, 'Well, can I help you, what’s going on?'" And she says, 'I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been in this house a long time. I want to leave right now!'"

Amanda Berry, Berry's daughter, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were rescued from the home of Ariel Castro, who faces various criminal charges.

Afterward, McDonald's tweeted: "We salute the courage of Ohio kidnap victims & respect their privacy. Way to go Charles Ramsey — we'll be in touch."

The fast-food chain was promptly bashed, with critics of the tweet saying McDonald's was shameless and seeking publicity amid a tragic situation. Now the restaurant is being criticized again, with some news outlets saying McDonald's hasn't been "in touch" as promised.

The Los Angeles Times previously reported that the company did keep its word "by attempting to track down Ramsey through its local franchisee, possibly the same one that sold him his food."

Still, as of now, McDonald's hasn't joined in the free-burger salute to Ramsey. We reached out to McDonald's but didn't immediately hear back.


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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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