Charles Ramsey gets burgers for life, but no Big Macs

Local eateries pledge to feed the Cleveland man who helped rescue 3 kidnap victims. McDonald's, however, has remained mum.

By Aimee Picchi May 23, 2013 1:37PM

Charles Ramsey, who found Gina DeJesus & Amanda Berry, talks on Seymour Avenue in Cleveland. (Credit: © Scott Shaw/THe Plain Dealer/Landov)The Cleveland man who became a media sensation after rescuing three women from a decade in captivity will receive free burgers for life, courtesy of more than a dozen Ohio restaurants that have pledged to feed him whenever he wishes, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports. 

But missing from the gesture is the ultimate burger purveyor, McDonald's (MCD), which became part of the story when the women's rescuer, Charles Ramsey, mentioned the fast-food giant in his 911 call to police. As he told it, he had been enjoying a Big Mac when he heard calls for help. 

In the initial frenzy surrounding the rescue, Ramsey was hailed as a savior and McDonald's reached out to him via Twitter. "Way to go Charles Ramsey -- we'll be in touch," the company wrote. Since then, the message has been retweeted more than 12,000 times. 

But in recent weeks, McDonald's has been quiet about the issue. The company didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from MSN Money. 

The truth is, McDonald's may want the whole issue to disappear. The company came under fire for its tweet, with some people criticizing the message as crossing the line. To some observers, McDonald's was praising Ramsey for mentioning the brand rather than for his humanitarian instinct to rescue the captives. 

And then there's the backlash against Ramsey, with the Smoking Gun uncovering repeated arrests for domestic violence. 

Given that revelation, McDonald's may not want to risk tying its brand to a flawed hero. After all, the burger chain's brand is valued at $90.2 billion, ranking it No. 4 among the world's 100 most valuable brands. 

In the meantime, Ramsey will no doubt enjoy his burgers at local restaurants such as Hodge's, which joined in the pledge to provide free food and employs Ramsey as a dishwasher. 

Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.

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Tags: MCD
May 23, 2013 3:06PM
McDonald's word seems to be as empty as their food value. 
May 23, 2013 4:35PM
The Ohio Restaurant burgers are probably better and have better ingredients/nutrition anyway. McDonalds serves junk food and junk food disguised as "healthy alternatives"
May 23, 2013 3:58PM
Why can't McDonald's suck it up and give him free food. He gave them great free advertising and they cant give him their cheap burgers? McDonald's could write it off as an expense anyways so they are being greedy over a few hundred or thousand dollars over a 20-40 year period. Seems petty for a multi billion dollar company
May 23, 2013 3:18PM
Sometimes nothing is better than something.
May 23, 2013 5:11PM
Wjhy should he get free anything. For what being a decent human being.
May 23, 2013 4:56PM
Give the man some Big Macs!!! Geez...
May 23, 2013 5:35PM
May 23, 2013 5:22PM
Yea they give him free big food for life he gets fat then he sues them for giving the food to him.  Duhhhhhhhhhhh
May 23, 2013 5:54PM
has anyone even read the actual 911 transcript for this man's call???? Hero?
May 23, 2013 8:53PM
I think the term "hero" has been so watered down as to be meaningless.  If you survive a disease, you are lucky.  If you have elective surgery so something bad won't happen to to you later, you are practical.  If you come when someone calls you, you are polite.  If you help someone open a door that won't open, you are helpful.  The media calls people who do these things "heroes".  To me, a hero is someone who does something to help others while putting himself/herself at risk.  In my first two examples, no one is at risk except you, so the only one you're helping is yourself.    In my last two, unless someone is pointing a gun, or has a hostage, or is threatening you with harm if you help, you are not a hero. If you are doing your job (as a first responder) you are not a hero.  The exception would be, for example,  the FDNY and NYPD who went INSIDE the twin towers to rescue people. They put themselves at risk to help others, so they are heroes.  

On the same note, why does every celebrity in a nice dress "stun".  Please.  Most writers (particularly on MSNBC) need to go back to journalism school, or at least get a dictionary and a thesaurus.
May 23, 2013 6:05PM
Ronald McDonald should give him a hummer for what he did.
May 23, 2013 6:14PM
Wow! Mc Dees is losing any credibility with me they ever had.  They should take care of the guy like they said they were going to.  Regardless of his criminal record, it that is true, his background had no bearing on his actions the day he was a hero. I don't care if he was an ex-con his actions were heroic and he should be rewarded.
May 23, 2013 11:07PM
LOL...he will scream with those pleading eyes,,,"give me a burger now...!!"
May 23, 2013 11:04PM
LOL.....he will be in your face at all those restaurants just shoveling down the burgers.
May 23, 2013 5:30PM
This puported "Hero" is questionable, to say the least. Piers Morhan had a bloke on his show that seemed to be the first person to respond to the young woman's cries, not "Burger Man." This story is waaaaaay over. Bye.
May 30, 2013 1:14PM
McDonald's food is not my favorite. And it's probably not the best choice for your health.
While we're all bashing this corporate giant, could we also remember the Ronald McDonald house and all the good it does? Sponsored by the same folks we're bashing.
And, by the way, this man's criminal past is regrettable, but in no way lessens his status as a hero for his actions in this particular case.
May 23, 2013 5:17PM
Lives in Cleveland, eats Big Mac's and beats women. Am i missing something?
May 23, 2013 10:06PM
forget the food, he don't look hungry. give that man some money. that's what he deserves.
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