It's an experience a retired Cleveland cop will never forget—the day he pulled accused monster Ariel Castro over for a traffic violation, but did not arrest him.
Dashcam video captures the incident.
Officer: "Let me see your driver's license."
Castro: "Excuse me?"
Cop: "Let me see your driver's license, please."
Castro: "What's wrong?"
The year was 2008. Ariel Castro was on a motorcycle and cut in front of officer Jim Simone's police car. The cop noticed something wrong with Castro's license plate, and pulled him over at a gas station.
The officer told INSIDE EDITION, "He was cooperative. He gave me his license, and I noticed that he didn't have a license to drive a motorcycle."
While Castro stood there in his undershirt, the cop had no way of knowing that three women and a baby were imprisoned at his house on Seymour Avenue. But Castro's demeanor was meek and mild.
Cop: "First off, your plate's improperly displayed. It has to be displayed left to right, not upside down or sideways. You're subjecting yourself to being arrested. Is that what you want?"
Castro: "No, sir, I don't want that."
And Castro got his wish. The cop wrote him two tickets and let him go even though Castro had no license and could have been placed under arrest.
The officer said, "He didn't have a bad record as far as traffic enforcement. He was very, very polite and said all the right words."
Cop: "just stand by your bike, and take out your insurance documents."
Now, some are asking why the cop let him off the hook.
"It might have turned out differently had I taken him to jail. He'd have been locked up and these girls would have been locked in that house, chained some place with no access to anything. The baby had just been born, so there was a small child in the house. Who would have cared for them?" he said.
A final image of a humbled and humiliated Castro is seen on the dashcam video, obediently walking his motorcycle back to the place that five years later would become infamous as the Cleveland house of horrors.
"He pushed that Kawasaki probably over a mile. So, he was afraid. He obviously didn't want to get arrested," said the officer.