Man Charged with Felony for Joking About Ebola

| by Michael Allen

Emanuel Smith reportedly told a dealer at the Horseshoe Casino in Cleveland, Ohio, that he was gambling so that he could avoid his ex-wife who had Ebola.

Smith allegedly told the casino employee last Wednesday that his ex-wife traveled to Cleveland from West Africa.

The conversation happened on the same day that a Dallas nurse with Ebola had flown to Cleveland.

Smith left the casino at about 5 p.m, but by 7 p.m. the casino's surveillance office reported him to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, noted

The Ohio Casino Control Commission closed the table where Smith played and called the police, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Cleveland health department.

Smith was arrested at 9:30 p.m. and charged with criminal trespassing, reports

"People were having a general discussion about the current situation," said Smith's defense attorney Kathleen DeMetz. "He made a comment regarding his former wife who had traveled to Africa sometime in the past and that he tries to stay away from her."

However, the local prosecutor claims that Smith wasted valuable city resources with his Ebola comment, which is why Smith was charged with a felony.

Sources:, (Image Credit: NIAID)