Man Charged With Felony Inducing Panic Over Bad Ebola Joke About His Ex-Wife

An Ohio man is charged with felony inducing panic after he told a casino dealer that he was gambling to avoid his Ebola-stricken ex-wife.

Emanuel Smith, 60, was playing table games Wednesday at the Horseshoe Casino in Cleveland when he made the remark to the dealer, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports.

Smith allegedly said that he was spending the day at the casino to elude his ex-wife, who he said recently traveled to Cleveland from West Africa. In fact, neither Smith, nor his ex-wife, have the virus.

According to a Municipal Court filing, Smith’s comment “caused panic” in the downtown casino, a portion of which was shut down as a result of Smith’s claim. The closure, investigators allege, caused the business to suffer “a large financial loss.”

A judge ordered Smith to stay away from the casino. He has no criminal history, according to reports.

Ohio officials took extra caution last week in their response to the recent Ebola scare. Eight individuals were quarantined after they had possible contact with a Texas nurse who was diagnosed with Ebola when she visited an Akron bridal store, CBS Cleveland reports.