Man writes apology after claiming he was turned away from COVID-19 checkpoint at justice center

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CLEVELAND (WJW)– The FOX 8 I-Team found a wanted man ended up writing a letter of apology to the Cuyahoga County sheriff after authorities say he tried to avoid facing a judge by lying about what happened at a COVID-19 checkpoint.

A hand-written letter told Sheriff David Schilling, “I am very sorry…”

The story revolves around what happened inside the Cuyahoga County Justice Center where people get screened for coronavirus going in to county court. Workers check temperatures of everyone going in to the justice center, and they ask a series of questions about symptoms and contact with people sick from COVID-19.

A man facing charges claimed he got turned away at that checkpoint. He called the I-Team when he said a judge issued a warrant for his arrest for not showing up even though he had been turned away during the screening.

The man faces charges tied to stolen property and misuse of a credit card.

So, the I-Team started investigating. We asked the court to tell us how this happened.

We know at the entrance, security video cameras are always rolling. Shouldn’t we see video of the man getting turned away?

So, court officials and the sheriff’s department started asking questions, too. They determined the man had not been there and had not been turned away.

Soon after authorities started looking into it, the court said the suspect turned himself in and apologized.

A letter released to the I-Team said, in part, “I am very sorry for wasting you and your colleagues time. I was very scared and concerned about contracting COVID-19 and bringing it back to my girlfriend’s father who is at high-risk.”  The letter also said, “It would be very bad if I was to bring it into that house. Please try to understand my situation.”

He did get some understanding. Investigators did not file any charges for the fake COVID-19 claim.   After surrendering, the court let him out of jail to wait for trial.

However, he may need more than an apology to get out of that.

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