Ohio gambler faces criminal charges of inducing panic over Ebola comment
Medical staff carry the body of an Ebola victim at the Medecins Sans Frontieres center in Monrovia on September 27, 2014 (AFP Photo/Pascal Guyot)

An Ohio gambler who told a card dealer that his wife had Ebola was in custody on Thursday and faces criminal charges of inducing panic, the Ohio Casino Control Commission said.

Emmanuel Smith, 60, was arrested on Wednesday after he told a dealer at the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland that he was out gambling because he did not want to catch Ebola from his sick wife, who had traveled from West Africa, the commission said in a statement.

After identifying the gambler, who had left the casino, authorities went to his home and arrested him. The pit area where he had been sitting in the casino was shut down as a precaution, the commission said.

Smith's wife told authorities that she was healthy and had not recently visited West Africa.

Smith faces one charge of inducing panic, a fifth-degree felony, and is also charged with a misdemeanor count of criminal trespassing, the commission said.

(Reporting by Fiona Ortiz in Chicago; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)