Cleveland kidnapping, rape suspect faced prior complaints

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CLEVELAND — 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.

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