Olympics Spectator 'Arrested for Not Smiling'

Police thought man looked suspicious ... but that was because of his Parkinson's
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2012 2:32 PM CDT
Spectator With Parkinson's Wants Apology After Arrest
Spectators watch the pack ride past during the men's road cycling race on July 28 in London.   (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarkis)

London police worried about Olympic security spotted a man along a route for cyclists who looked suspicious to them. He looked almost grim, and with the cyclists approaching, they feared he might be up to something. After officers handcuffed him and took him to the local station, they learned the reason why 54-year Mark Worsfold looked the way he did: He has Parkinson's, and the muscles on his face are often rigid, reports the Guardian.

"It could have been done better," says Worsfold. "I was arrested for not smiling." Police, who soon released him without charge, explained it this way: "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." Worsfold says he wants a "letter of exoneration" from the force. (More 2012 London Olympics stories.)

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