Imagine Goudarz Karimi’s surprise. The Oxford University student was out for a run yesterday getting in a little cardio work enhanced by his 30kg weight vest. That’ll get your heart going, too. Thirty kilograms is about 66lbs of added weight in the real world. You know what’ll also get your heart going? Having a police armed response team point their pistols at you and scream, “Stop! Stop! Put your hands in the air. Drop everything you have.”
We don’t know what the UK’s equivalent of Homeland Security’s informative color-coded threat level system is, but it must have been elevated. One of Oxford’s hyper-vigilant citizens had rung up the local constabulary with the alarming news that there was a swarthy young man on the loose wearing a bomb vest. The dailaymail.co.uk reports:
Iranian student Goudarz Karimi said he was shocked by the police response even after they realised he was not a suicide bomber.
He said he had gone out for a jog on Monday afternoon and was confronted by the armed response team in Southfield Road, East Oxford.
‘The police removed my weight vest and examined it. They started asking questions: “What are you doing?”
‘They said they had a report of someone walking in a bomb suit. There were police cars and the street was blocked.’
He said that when they realised it was an exercise vest they advised him to remove it to prevent any another call from a terrified member of the public.
‘They told me I’d have to take my vest off, I didn’t want to provoke anything else and that’s why I put my jacket over it.’Mr Karimi said he feared his ethnic origin had sparked the concerns.
‘I am 100 per cent sure that if I was blond with Caucasian skin type, nobody would have noticed and said anything about it.
‘But I’m of dark skin complexion and from Iran and I’m sure that’s related to it,’ he said.
We’re guessing that, on a go-forward basis, Mr. Karimi will either keep his weight vest under wraps or confine his jogs to the Oxford gymnasium.
[h/t to AI member in good standing Huck]