TODAY

TODAY   |  August 07, 2013

Cleveland councilman: Victims ‘excited’ for demolition

Cleveland city councilman Matt Zone discusses the demolition of Ariel Castro’s house, where three women were held captive over a decade, saying the victims will have a “significant impact” on what happens to the lot after the house is torn down.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> much. those women received a big outpouring of support from the entire cleveland community. one of the people in constant contact with them from the beginning is the city councilman for gina dejesus's neighborhood. good morning to you.

>> good morning, matt.

>> this is a physical process that is going on today. they're going to take sledge hammers and heavy equipment and knock the building down but it's much more than that. it's a symbolic process as well. what does it mean to these three young ladies?

>> this begins healing for not only the three ladies but this community. the goal of taking this house down is to make sure that there is no reminisces left of ariel castro here in this neighborhood.

>> you are close to the dejesus family. you have been in constant contact with gina. she has talked to you about this moment? did she ever think she would live to get out of that house? and did she ever think she would live to see the day it would be torn down and demolished?

>> she always had faith that she would live and one day be released. the family is so excited about today. they're really looking forward to it. they can't wait until the structure comes down. it's a happy day here in cleveland .

>> i understand that she and michelle knight actually visited the house over the last several days. they did not go inside from what i have been told but they wanted to view the house from the outside, a perspective they weren't able to have over those 12, or 10 or 11 years.

>> well, they were whisked here, some in the dark of the night and literally never left that house for over ten years and when they were rescued they were whisked into an ambulance and taken away. in michelle knight's case she wanted to come here and thank the community. thank the residents of the street that had to endure the crush of the community and the media on them. but, really, for holding out hope that one day that they would be found and be reunited with their loved ones.

>> and finally, what should be done with that site? there are a lot of different plans being put forward. how much impact with these three young ladies have in what eventually happens on that site?

>> i think they'll have significant impact. right now what we're doing is engaging all of the stake holders, not only the victims and their family but the residence residents and they will have a say in what the future of this property will be after a long collaborative process. just think about the world trade center , the long conversation that occurred. we're hoping it won't take that long but we're anticipating something grand to happen in this space.

>> an important morning in that neighborhood in cleveland . thank you very much for your time.

>> thank you, matt.