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Courts and Crime

Ariel Castro's house is demolished
Crowds gathered, cheered and released yellow balloons

The house where Ariel Castro kept three women for years is no longer standing.
Courtesy of M. L. Schultze
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In The Region:
The house Ariel Castro turned into a prison to hold three women captive for a decade is now gone. An excavator smashed the infamous West Side home into rubble earlier today. For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN's Brian Bull reports.

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In just a couple of hours, most of Castro’s house on Seymour Avenue was obliterated. People cheered and launched balloons, as the last remnants of the structure were bashed and trampled by machinery.

Among those on the scene was Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty. He remarked on the fast turn of events beginning with Amanda Berry’s escape the evening of May 6th, which lead to Castro’s arrest and eventual sentencing to life in prison plus 1,000 years.

“It was three months and a few days ago that this escape took place," McGinty says. "And this man was sent to where he belongs, in prison. He’s gonna sit in the bowels of prison now, the rest of his life, the rest of his days, living in fear himself, from the other prisoners. It’s fitting.”

Two local contractors destroyed the house and hauled the debris away, on their own dime. Cleveland Councilman Matt Zone says every last shred of Castro’s house is going to be pulverized and discarded.

“And the reason we’re doing that, is we don’t want anyone having any remnants of Ariel Castro’s home, so nobody can display some sort of trophy on their mantle,” Zone says.

Zone adds that the demolition means healing for Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus, as well as their families.

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