Man Arrested After Joking He Avoids His Wife Because She Might Have Ebola

It's official: We are now in a state of mass panic about Ebola. Do not, I repeat, do not even joke about the deadly disease. One man learned that the hard way when he was reportedly gambling at a Cleveland, Ohio casino and joked that he was avoiding his wife because she may have Ebola. It wasn't long before cops were knocking on the man's door and he was arrested for his crass humor.


According to 60-year-old Emanuel Smith's defense attorney, a bunch of people were discussing the Ebola situation at the casino when the man made an off-hand remark that his wife had traveled to West Africa in the past so he "tries to stay away" from her.

The man then spent several hours playing at the casino, but watch what you say in a casino because soon after, the place's "surveillance office" (yikes) reported the remark to the casino commission. Soon after, cops rapped on Smith's door. He was placed under arrest and charged with "inducing panic," and "entering a place of amusement to cause a disturbance" which is a felony.

Welp, we have reached that stage where joking about Ebola, much like joking about a bomb, is unacceptable. At least for some people. I notice that when a teacher joked about a bomb at his school and his wife called police, no one arrested him.

Good thing I made my Ebola jokes a few weeks ago and soon grew tired of them. Hopefully there is some sort of statute of limitations on them.

Granted, perhaps Smith shouldn't have made a joke like that in a public place, with people he didn't know. But presumably he was having a good time and that feeling of faux-friendship set in and he thought he was safe. People, keep your Ebola jokes limited strictly to close friends and family. But avoid them entirely if your close friends and family are humorless morons.

What about the people planning on wearing Hazmat suits this Halloween? Will they be arrested too?

Smith is 60 years old with no criminal history -- and now he's charged with a felony. All it would have taken is going to his house and asking him about what he said and verifying it was an off-hand remark. Meanwhile, people simply lie when they fly to the States after coming into real contact with Ebola victims, as the Dallas ground zero patient, Eric Duncan, reportedly did.

Let's not go all insane here, everyone. Use some common sense. This man shouldn't have his life ruined over one not-very-well-thought-out remark. A good warning should do the trick not to make "jokes" like that.

So take heed what you say on Halloween, or any other time. All rational thought has apparently gone out the window!


Image via post apocalyptic design/Flickr

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