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Parkinson's disease sufferer, 54, arrested by police at Olympic cycling road race 'because he failed to smile' (GB)

A father with Parkinson’s disease was arrested as he watched the Olympic cycling road race because he ‘failed to smile or look like he was enjoying himself’. The 54-year-old had his fingerprints, DNA and photographs taken before being questioned for 5 hours about why he did not appear to be enjoying the event on July 28.

One of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is muscle rigidity, which can cause the face to seem expressionless. His frantically worried wife only found out he was being detained after she reported him missing, as he couldn’t attend their daughter’s ninth birthday party.

A Police spokesman tried to claim that the arrest was necessary to avoid a ‘breach of the peace’ because he was standing near a group of protesters.

Mr Worsfold, who had stopped to watch the men’s road race in Leatherhead, Surrey, after holding a Taekwondo demonstration nearby, said officers told him he was being arrested and taken to Reigate police station because he was not smiling.

‘I was sitting minding my own business,’ he told a local newspaper. ‘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. … I was arrested for not smiling. I have Parkinson’s.’

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This entry was posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2012 at 6:50 pm and is filed under Social Control.