When Cleveland resident Charles Ramsey famously put down his Big Mac to help Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight break free from a decade of captivity, little did he know what rewards would be forthcoming.

Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath said that Ramsey deserves a lot of credit, and many have mentioned financial payments; but whenever Ramsey is asked about potential reward money, he says it should all be given to the victims.

But nobody said anything about “reward hamburgers.”

Now, more than a dozen Cleveland-area restaurants and at least one in Pennsylvania have promised gratis patties for life to the singular hero with a charming knack for language, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

“We want to honor our local hero with local food,” Cleveland restaurateur Scott Kuhn told the paper. “He stopped his meal midway through to help those women. We’re now making sure he has other opportunities to go out and fully enjoy his burger.”

Where does McDonald’s stand on all this? On the day of the rescue, they tweeted a shout-out to the instant celebrity.

But they have yet to announce an offer of free Big Macs. Although it would clearly would have little effect on the corporation’s bottom line, there has been plenty of skepticism about the idea – which perhaps they’ve been heeding. The tweet alone had marketing strategists wagging their fingers.

"I call it news-jacking," Chris Ann Goddard, president of the PR firm CGPR, told USA Today. "They're taking advantage of a situation to help their brand."

Whether or not the Golden Arches steps up to the plate or not doesn't much matter now. Thanks to the local Cleveland restaurants, our hero will never again be wanting for burgers.

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Free burgers for life promised to Cleveland hero Charles Ramsey
Virtue may be its own reward, but a lifetime of burgers on the house certainly sweetens the pot.