Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

key2thecup

Man arrested for 'not smiling' at Olympic event

27 posts in this topic

Olympics spectator with Parkinson's wants 'exoneration' after arrest

Mark Worsfold, 54, says he was handcuffed by Surrey police officers 'for not smiling' while watching men's cycling road race

Mens-cycling-road-race-sp-016.jpg

The London 2012 men's cycling road race was watched by thousands of spectators who lined the route from central London to Box Hill in Surrey. Photograph: Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images

A man with Parkinson's disease who was arrested during the Olympic men's cycling road race while sitting beside the route has said he wants a "letter of exoneration" from Surrey police, claiming their treatment of him was disproportionate.

Mark Worsfold, 54, a former soldier and martial arts instructor, was arrested on 28 July for a breach of the peace shortly before the cyclists arrived in Redhouse Park, Leatherhead, where he had sat down on a wall to watch the race. Officers from Surrey police restrained and handcuffed him and took him to Reigate police station, saying his behaviour had "caused concern".

"The man was positioned close to a small group of protesters and based on his manner, his state of dress and his proximity to the course, officers made an arrest to prevent a possible breach of the peace," Surrey police said in a statement.

Worsfold, whose experience was first reported by Private Eye, claims police questioned him about his demeanour and why he had not been seen to be visibly enjoying the event. Worsfold, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2010, suffers from muscle rigidity that affects his face. He was released after two hours without charge or caution.

"It could have been done better. I was arrested for not smiling. I have Parkinson's," he said, adding that he realised the officers were working long hours and trying to control the event properly, but they had not, in his case, acted correctly. He said he did not want to make further comment until he received a response from Surrey police.

Worsfold, who teaches martial arts in Leatherhead, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro last February for the Save the Rhino charity.

Surrey police said: "There were a number of factors which led officers to make this arrest, including the fact that the race was rapidly approaching, the heightened level of security due to the high-profile nature of the event and the sheer number of spectators in attendance. These were fully explained to the individual concerned. He was given words of advice and released with no further action."

They added that Worsfold had had "a number of knives" in his possession, but that these turned out to be made of rubber and for use only as display items.

The statement said: "Surrey police has received a letter from the man in which he has said that he 'fully understands and appreciates the action taken by officers'. He has also said that he 'appreciated and thanked both the arresting officers for their apologies and explanations' following his release."

Chief Superintendent Gavin Stephens said: "Officers were policing huge numbers of people during the Olympic events and in the interests of public safety they acted quickly and decisively based on the information available to them."

Campaigners, however, said the incident was illustrative of the kind of "chronic misunderstandings" people with Parkinson's have to deal with regularly. "Sadly Mark's experience highlights the lack of understanding and compassion that many people currently living with Parkinson's have to deal with every day," said Laura Bowey, head of information and support at Parkinson's UK.

"Despite affecting over 127,000 people in the UK, people with Parkinson's are subject to chronic misunderstandings and misconceptions about the condition. All too frequently people with Parkinson's tell us how are they are accused of being drunk, or acting suspiciously as they go about their daily lives.

"Parkinson's is a complex condition, and those living with it can experience a range of different symptoms that can vary almost on an hourly basis. We hope that Mark's experience will help to raise awareness of this distressing problem and will be a reminder to be careful about making the wrong assumptions about people who have Parkinson's."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/aug/08/olympics-spectator-parkinsons-arrest-smiling

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well he wasn't really arrested for "not smiling", but this still seems like an unwarranted arrest.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Surrey police has received a letter from the man in which he has said that he 'fully understands and appreciates the action taken by officers'. He has also said that he 'appreciated and thanked both the arresting officers for their apologies and explanations' following his release."

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is ridiculous. I'm sick of reading and watching about the police pull ... like this.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Parkinson’s sufferer arrested in Leatherhead for ‘not smiling’

A MAN arrested during the Olympic cycling road race says he was detained for "not smiling".

Martial arts trainer Mark Worsfold, 54, was arrested shortly before cyclists passed through Leatherhead on July 28 due to "his manner, his state of dress and his proximity to the course", according to police.

But Mr Worsfold, who had been doing a Taekwondo demonstration in Red House Gardens, said officers told him he was arrested because he was not smiling – and he added that his face can seem expressionless due to his Parkinson's disease.

"I was sitting minding my own business," he said. "Before I knew anything the police grabbed me off this seven-foot wall, threw me to the floor and cuffed me so all I saw of the cycle race was between the feet of people from the pavement."

Mr Worsfold was detained for five hours, and his wife only found out where he was after reporting him missing when he did not turn up for his daughter's birthday party.

He told the Advertiser he now sees the funny side, but as he was wearing his logo on his uniform he worries it may affect his reputation and has asked for a letter of exoneration from police.

Surrey Police said Mr Worsfold, from Ockham, had a legal folding knife and several rubber knives on him, which they accept were used for his display, and the officers who made the arrest apologised to him.

Chief Superintendent Gavin Stephens said: "In the interests of public safety, officers acted quickly and decisively based on the information available to them."

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the sounds of the letter the man sent to Surrey Police, he had been willing to accept the departmenrt's apologies and justification. Maybe the sensationalist media should back off this one.

Even the article turns about face from the man to the disease focus halfway through.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You use more muscles in your face when you frown than when you smile.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You use more muscles in your face when you frown than when you smile.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You use more muscles in your face when you frown than when you smile.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Him having Parkinsons is to my mind irrelevant.The cops had a problem with him not smiling and only found out about his disease after they confronted him.Sad day when facial expression ends up being grounds for arrest and detention.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seeing how this guy was a Brit, I would have thought arrest was more likely for smiling...

thebigbookofbritishsmiles_thumb.png

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Him having Parkinsons is to my mind irrelevant.The cops had a problem with him not smiling and only found out about his disease after they confronted him.Sad day when facial expression ends up being grounds for arrest and detention.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now what police and government would NOT suspend civil rights to appease the IOC and bring the Olympics to town?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.