The London Olympic Games may now be over, but the horror stories of Nazi-style police tactics used during the games keep rolling in. One such case happened to local Englishman Mark Worsfold, who was arrested and detained by police for not smiling at an event. You heard correctly – Arrested for not smiling.
It all happened after Mr Worsfold had stopped to watch the men’s cycling road race in Surrey, after holding a Taekwondo demonstration nearby. He said he was “sitting minding my own business” when “before I knew anything, the Police grabbed me off this seven-foot wall, threw me to the floor and cuffed me so I all I saw of the cycle race was between the feet of people from the pavement.”
When asked why he was being arrested, the police told him it was because he ‘failed to smile or look like he was enjoying himself’. In an official statement released after the arrest, the police later added that they also didn’t like how he was dressed, or where he was sitting. They also said it was necessary to avoid a breach of the peace because he was in close proximity to a group of protestors.
Mr Worsfold was taken to the local police station where he was interrogated and questioned as to why he did not appear to be enjoying himself at the cycling race, and in the process had his fingerprints, DNA, and mugshot taken. He was initially arrested on suspicion of a public order offence, but upon realising that the 54-year old posed no threat, they gave him ‘words of advice’ before being ‘released with no further action’.
It turns out that the reason why Mr Worsfold was not smiling is because he has difficulty in doing so. He suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, and one of the symptoms is muscle rigidity, which sometimes has the effect of his face becoming mask-like and expressionless. Parksinson’s sufferers are all too often persecuted by the police, with Parkinson’s UK reporting that frequent accusations include being drunk in public, or acting suspiciously.
Mark Worsfold was not the only one made to suffer that day due to the actions of the oppressive police-state minions. His wife Nicola became so worried when he did not turn up for their daughter’s ninth birthday party later that day, that she reported him as missing to the police. They have since asked for a letter of exoneration from police. The only confirmed response at this stage has been apologies received from the arresting officers.