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May 9th, 2013
10:54 PM ET

Cop who once pulled over Castro: "I if I had arrested him ... there would have been no reason to go to his house"

On a day which saw authorities in Ohio announce that they will be seeking murder charges – in addition to kidnapping and rape charges – for Ariel Castro, "Piers Morgan Live" invited James Simone to offer his unique insight on the man being accused of operating a "torture chamber and private prison."

A retired Cleveland police offer, Simone once pulled Castro over on a traffic violation, and on Thursday he explained the circumstances:

"As he went by me I noticed his license plate was improperly displayed. I followed him into the gas station," Simone told Piers Morgan. "He was arrestable. He didn't have a license to operate a motorcycle and normally I would arrest people for that. But he was very polite, and he explained to me he was a school bus driver, so if I had physically arrested him and towed his bike there was a good possibility he might have lost his job."

Asked by the host if he regretted not arresting Castro, the former cop suggested that such an act likely still would not have led to the discovery of the missing women:

"I've reflected on this many times since Monday, and actually, if I had arrested him, I would have cuffed him, put him in the car, I towed his motorcycle away, and took him to jail," noted Simone. "There would have been no reason to go to his house."

Watch the clip, and listen to the interview, as the guest shares the story of how he first learned of the rescue, and the ways in which his 18 years of police videotape helped bring this seemingly routine traffic stop under the brightest of all spotlights.
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Filed under: The Big Story
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  1. max

    Dear Morgan
    How in the world, did you just sit there, and let this nut of a cop say he was happy he didn’t do his job. for if he had, the women would have been a lone and with out him, and there was a baby there. May be if he had done his job the women would have gotten out and been free sooner. But that’s the cops for you, the only time you find a child that been kidnap, is by a running that falls over there body, and now if they can get away them selves. This made my blood boil and you just sit there, and say nothing may be if he had like guns you jumped all over him, and called him names. You guys make me sick!

    May 10, 2013 at 1:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • dave

      Hey Max,
      If the police pulled you over for the same violation, would it be ok to go to your house and kick your door in to make sure you aren't doing something illegally? I would hope your answer is no. It's called probable cause....people get arrested all the time for minor violations and no one searches their homes. If he would have arrested him, he would have sat in jail until he posted bond. What officer Simone meant, was if the guy wasn't able to get out of jail for a week or more, no one would have been going to the house to feed and check on his captives. Yes it sounds cruel to put it this way, but that's the reality of the incident. If he would have arrested Castro, and Castro lost his school bus driver job, I'm sure you'd be calling him an overzealous police officer who enjoys arresting innocent people. Before you go calling Officer Simone a nut job, look him up on the internet, and what you'll find is an extremely small portion of what he did in his career. He was a fine Officer with a stellar career. The nut job is the liberal Morgan.... Stop watching cop shows on t.v. In the real world an officer can't touch a person or his property and know everything that is going. on with that person. Before you criticize, put yourself in the shoes of an officer and see if you can survive physically and mentally with what they see on a daily basis

      May 10, 2013 at 8:06 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • DaveDidntRead

        Dave, the point is that if he had been arrested he would have been away from the home for a significant period giving the girls a potential window to escape. There's no telling this would have happened but it does seem naive of this guy to be trying to rationalize how his inaction (and failure to uphold the law) is actually a positive. It's completely bogus.

        May 10, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pamela Simone-McCoin

      It's unintelligent people such as yourself, Max that make my blood boil. Armchair policing and kneejerk commenting as if you could have done something better, when you know you could not. Stick to watching your crime procedurals and secretly wishing you were 1/10th the man that Simone is!

      May 10, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • SimmerDownPam

        Pam, settle down. The job of police officers is to uphold the law, this officer CLEARLY did not fulfill his job by not arresting Castro for being, in the officer's own words, "arrestable". Saying that Castro seemed like a nice guy and that he provided a plausible excuse is sort of a moot point since this man was clearly a monster and this officer was just another he duped.

        May 10, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mike

    Dave your totally right. That Max guy is an idiot! How in the world would a traffic stop for a improperly displayed license plate lead to finding those girls? Use your head.

    May 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. shepherdgregory

    Seems to look rather burdened,don't you think?

    May 10, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. shepherdgregory

    Think he's taking it all on his shoulders like Atlas:easy to do,but often misplaced,a misdemeanor like this not likely to need the
    cops to call round,and nobody's ever gonna suspect he's got a bunker full of women.

    May 10, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. jp

    I think it sounds different for those who are not cops or this particular cop's supporters here. I heard a policeman tell me he could have taken someone off the street who was breaking the law. But he felt sorry for him because he was a bus driver. An honest bus driver wouldn't be breaking the law. He let a dishonest bus driver go. Imagine what would have happened had he lost his bus driver's license? He wouldn't have been around thousands of children for another five yrs. And I bet Amamda Berry would have found freedom had castro been gone. I didn't like a cop telling me the girls would have starved without castro. This cop gave that man 5 more years with those girls. Those are the facts. Remember Dragnet?

    May 11, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • shepherdgregory

      Film or TV series?Didn't see interview[UK],but if he's stating that they'd starve without him it smacks of overstepping the mark,and sounds like he's grabbing at things to vindicate his actions(he looks BURDENED);I don't necessarily blame him,but
      it may well have been an opportunity missed–though NOBODY would suspect we've got another Fritzel to deal with.

      May 11, 2013 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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