Cops: Inmate who falsely claimed Ebola risk hadn't traveled

Harry Randall Withers is now being indicted on three felony counts of making false statements


By C1 Staff

ATLANTA, Ga. — A man who claimed to have Ebola after being arrested and booked into the Cobb County Jail for allegedly drunk driving hadn’t traveled abroad since 2005.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Harry Randall Withers is now being indicted on three felony counts of making false statements.

Harry Randall Withers. (Photo Cobb County Jail)
Harry Randall Withers. (Photo Cobb County Jail)

Last Friday, Withers told a jail paramedic that he had a persistent cough and symptoms matching those of the onset of the deadly Ebola virus as he was being booked in. He also said he had just returned from Africa.

The jail was put on temporary lockdown and staff members isolated Withers. He was transported to the Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, where he tested negative for the virus.

Withers later said to an investigator that he had a passport which could prove his travel out of the country at the times in question and which was stamped entry and exit in Kenya when in fact the defendant had not left the country since 2005, according to the indictment.

He claimed he had stayed overnight in an airport in Nigeria, but he could not identify the city or airport. He also claimed to have a layover in Liberia and flew into Brussels, Belgium, before flying back to the Duelles International Airport in Virginia.

That information was also false. 

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