Cleveland Kidnap Victim Told Cop 'You Saved Us,' Jumped in His Arms

Good Morning America

ABC News Videos

Cleveland Rescue Video Released

Cleveland Rescue Video Released

Cleveland Rescue Video Released

Now watching

Next video starts in : 7 Play

Cleveland Rescue Video Released

"Two- Adam- 23," croaked the police radio, the officer's voice brimming with emotion. "We found them! We found them!"

Officer Anthony Espada , the first Cleveland Police officer to arrive at 2207 Seymour Ave., the scene of last Monday's dramatic rescue of three kidnapped women imprisoned as sex slaves for a decade, described discovering the women as "very overwhelming" in the first public account of their discovery by police.

"You saved us! You saved us," screamed one victim, Michelle Knight, who upon seeing the officer jumped into his arms.

Espada and his partner were the first to officers to arrive at the modest two-story home, showing up just two minutes after Amanda Berry was pried out of the locked door and neighbor Charles Ramsey called 911.

"We pull up, we see a crowd, like on the porch. We see this girl. She's like raising her hand, holding a child. I'm looking at my partner – 'Is it her?'" Espada said, wondering if the woman they saw really was Amanda Berry, kidnapped off a Cleveland street when she was 17 in 2003.

"We were pulling up closer and as soon as we pull up, my partner was driving, so she came up to the driver's side. He looked up at me and he's like, 'It is her.' Just the emotion from that point that he confirmed it was Amanda was overwhelming," Espada said in an official account of the rescue released by the Cleveland Division of Police.

All three women – Berry, Knight and Gina DeJesus -- were independently abducted within miles from each other in Cleveland between 2002 and 2004. The home's owner Ariel Castro has been charged with their kidnapping and rape and more charges are expected.

Berry delivered a now 6-year-old child while in captivity, who was also freed in their escape.

Berry alerted the officers that the other two women were in the house.

"It was like another bombshell with overwhelming force just hit me. I believe I broadcasted, 'Gina might still be in the house,'" Espada said.

Espada described the home, later nicknamed the "house of horrors," as "quiet" and "peaceful" as he entered the building.

As he went up stairs he heard a noise and within seconds he saw Knight, the first woman abducted in 2002 and perhaps the most severely abused.

Knight later told investigators that through forced sex with Castro she had become pregnant "at least" five times. In each instance he caused her to have abortions by starving her for a couple weeks and then punching her in the stomach, according to a police report. Castro also threatened Knight with death if the baby Berry delivered in a plastic kiddie pool died in childbirth, the police report stated.

Upon seeing the officer, Knight jumped into his arms screaming "You saved us! You saved us!"

While holding Knight another woman appeared from a bedroom and Espada says he immediately knew who it was ,Gina DeJesus, abducted when she was 14 and one of the most sought after missing persons in Ohio.

"I asked her, 'What's your name?' She said, 'My name is Georgina DeJesus.'"

It was "very overwhelming," Espada recalls. " I mean it took everything to hold myself together. It was like one bombshell after another."

Espada says he does not feel like a hero and the rescue was a result of everybody being "in the right place."

"I feel so happy for them. It is just unbelievable," Espada said still moved by the rescue.

"It goes through my mind every day. I couldn't imagine the past 10-12 years what they went through. It just keeps playing back, in my mind, you know. .. I just keep replaying it and replaying it every day since it happened. I'm just glad just to be a part of it, all of the officers there on the scene that day. Everything just went so awesome, and well."

View Comments (1017)

Recommended for You

  • EXCLUSIVE: ‘Real Housewives’ Star Teresa Giudice Says Prison Was Like ‘Living in Hell’

    The showers were freezing cold ... I mean, the living conditions were really horrible. Speaking from her New Jersey home, the 43-year-old Giudice talked to Robach about her finances, her future and her time in prison –- including working for 12 cents an hour in the kitchen. The reality TV star…

    Good Morning America16 mins ago
  • Oscars Countdown: Stars Gather at Nominees Luncheon

    In “The Danish Girl,” Alicia Vikander’s character brims with tenderness and understanding. In “The Hateful Eight,” Jennifer Jason Leigh’s character Daisy is no fragile flower. Both actresses are Oscar nominees in the supporting actress category. At Monday’s Nominees Luncheon in Beverly Hills, the…

    Good Morning America16 mins ago
  • 2 Trains Collide in Germany, 8 Dead, at Least 100 Injured

    Two morning commuter trains have collided in Bad Aibling in southern Germany, killing eight people and injuring more than 100 others, police said.The train manufacturer, Meridian, released a statement in German, saying two trains collided just after 7 a.m. today local time.In a news conference,…

    Good Morning America37 mins ago
  • Everything You Need to Know About the New Hampshire Primary

    Regardless of who wins, there’s a reason for Granite Staters to celebrate: Tuesday marks the 100th anniversary of the New Hampshire primary. Secretary of State William Gardner is predicting a record surge in Republican ballots cast.

    Good Morning America45 mins ago
  • Dixville Notch Casts First Votes in New Hampshire Primary

    The nine voters of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, became some of the first in the state -- and consequently, first in the nation -- to cast their ballots in the presidential primary in the early hours of Tuesday. New Hampshire has held the "First in the Nation" presidential primary since 1920, and…

    Good Morning America45 mins ago
  • Father of 13-Year-Old Murder Victim 'Bet She Fought Like a Wildcat'

    The father of a 13-year-old girl allegedly murdered by a Virginia Tech student said he "bet she fought like a wildcat," according to a new interview. David Lovell, the father of Nicole Lovell, made the comments to Dr. Phil McGraw in an interview set to air Wednesday. “I bet she fought like a…

    Good Morning America52 mins ago
  • Good Morning America58 mins ago
  • Bernie Sanders and the Expectations Game in New Hampshire

    Sen. Bernie Sanders might be the underdog nationwide, but he has been leading in the polls in New Hampshire for months. Another from UMass-Lowell, also out Monday, had Sanders at 56 percent and Clinton at 40 percent. While the numbers would be exciting for any campaign, they have also set the…

    Good Morning America
  • Zika Virus Outbreak: Consumer Reports Shares Best Zika-Fighting Repellents

    With concern surrounding the Zika virus at an all-time high, Consumer Reports has re-released its exclusive ratings of mosquito repellents that best protect against the virus. The new release highlights the results regarding the Aedes Egypti mosquito, the mosquito known to carry and spread Zika. …

    Good Morning America
  • 'Girls' Star Lena Dunham Taking Time Off for 'Chronic' Illness

    The acclaimed HBO show "Girls" is back for a new season this month, but its biggest star will not being making press appearances due to a "chronic condition."Lena Dunham took to Instagram today to write, "I just wanted to let you know that, while I am so excited for Girls to return on Feb 21, I…

    Good Morning America
  • WWE Wrestler Daniel Bryan to Retire

    Former WWE champion and professional wrestling star Daniel Bryan is retiring."Due to medical reasons, effective immediately, I am announcing my retirement. Tonight on Raw, I'll have a chance to elaborate. #gratitude," he tweeted on Monday.Read: Stone Cold Steve Austin: My Life After Pro…

    Good Morning America
  • Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Rocked by Hurricane-Force Winds Heads Back to New Jersey

    A Royal Caribbean cruise ship that was rocked by hurricane-force winds overnight is sailing back to port in Bayonne, New Jersey. The ship left from Cape Liberty, New Jersey, on Saturday for a seven-night cruise to the Bahamas. The company posted a message on Twitter saying that all guests are…

    Good Morning America
  • Panda Cub Bei Bei Climbs a Tree With the Help of His Mom

    Bei Bei is moving up in the world.The Smithsonian National Zoo’s baby panda experienced the outdoors for the first time last week and now the nearly six-month-old cub is scaling trees—-with the help of his mom Mei Xiang, of course. The Washington DC based Zoo posted a video of the feat online this…

    Good Morning America
  • Chinese New Year Fireworks So Dangerous That Only a Few Get to Witness

    For much of the next two weeks, millions of Chinese will welcome in the Year of Monkey, which begins today, with a cavalcade of fireworks lighting up the night’s sky. In almost every corner of every city or village in Mainland China, families will light their own firecrackers and boxes of…

    Good Morning America
  • Countdown to New Hampshire With 5 Things to Watch in Tuesday's Primary

    Tuesday will be a critical moment on the road to the White House as residents of the Granite State cast their votes in the first-in-the-nation primary. With independents making up more than 40 percent of the electorate, the New Hampshire primary can often surprise, and that may be the case…

    Good Morning America
  • 4 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Scoring Beyonce Tour Tickets

    Minutes after Beyonce announced her 2016 Formation World Tour during Super Bowl 50, fans flooded to her website looking for more information about the tour, and temporarily crashed the site. Fans have also been tweeting in anticipation and excitement for the ticket sales to go live. Securing…

    Good Morning America
  • US Veteran Says He is 'ISIS Soldier,' Calls Bin Laden 'Beautiful Man,' Officials Say

    The FBI has arrested a former member of the Army on weapons charges after he allegedly expressed sympathy for ISIS, called Osama bin Laden "a beautiful man" and said the murder of government agents was "a hundred percent obligation," according to court documents filed in a Washington state federal…

    Good Morning America