Cops mistake runner for suicide bomber

If you're going to wear a black, weighted vest that looks like a bomb when you're running, you have to expect the police might do a double-take.

If you’re going to wear a black, weighted vest that looks like a bomb when you’re running, you have to expect the police might do a double-take – if not take you down entirely.

That’s certainly what happened to Gourdarz Karimi, an Oxford University PhD student who was running through the streets of Oxford in the U.K. wearing one such weighted vests. Instead of an extra-hard run, Karimi found himself in a workout of a different kind.

Karimi’s vest was the kind used to train soldiers before they head out on extreme missions, but are slowly becoming popular as an exercise accessory. The problem is that the vests look suspiciously similar to the type of vest a suicide bomber might wear, which is why police mistook Karimi for a terrorist.

Karimi told the London Telegraph he was out for a run on Monday afternoon when he was confronted by police officers armed with sub-machine guns.

“They told me ‘Stop! Stop! Put your hands in the air. Drop everything you have,'” Karimi told the paper. “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.”

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Police then had Karimi remove the vest and check it for explosives. Even once they discovered the vest was an exercise vest, however, they suggested he remove it to prevent calls from members 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,” Karimi said.