Police used teargas to drive back protesters following an
attempt by the Occupy supporters to shut down the city of Oakland.
Photograph: Noah Berger/AP
A second Iraq war veteran has suffered serious injuries after clashes
between police andOccupy
Kayvan Sabehgi, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, is in intensive care
with a lacerated spleen. He says he was beaten by police close to theOccupy
Oaklandcamp, but despite
suffering agonising pain, did not reach hospital until 18 hours later.
Sabehgi, 32, is the second Iraq war veteran to be hospitalised following
involvement in Oakland protests. Another protester, Scott Olsen,
suffered a fractured skull on 25 October.
On Wednesday night, police used teargas and non-lethal projectiles to
drive back protesters following an attempt by the Occupy supporters to
shut down the city of Oakland.
Sabehgi told the Guardian from hospital he was walking alone along 14th
Street in central Oakland – away from the main area of clashes – when he
"There was a group of police in front of me," he told the Guardian from
his hospital bed. "They told me to move, but I was like: 'Move to
where?' There was nowhere to move.
"Then they lined up in front of me. I was talking to one of them, saying
'Why are you doing this?' when one moved forward and hit me in my arm
and legs and back with his baton. Then three or four cops tackled me and
Sabeghi, who left the army in 2007 and now part-owns a small
bar-restaurant in El Cerrito, about 10 miles north of Oakland, said he
was handcuffed and placed in a police van for three hours before being
taken to jail. By the time he got there he was in "unbelievable pain".
He said: "My stomach was really hurting, and it got worse to the point
where I couldn't stand up.
"I was on my hands and knees and crawled over the cell door to call for
A nurse was called and recommended Sabehgi take a suppository, but he
said he "didn't want to take it".
He was allowed to "crawl" to another cell to use the toilet, but said it
"I was vomiting and had diarrhoea," Sabehgi said. "I just lay there in
pain for hours."
Sabehgi's bail was posted in the mid-afternoon, but he said he was
unable to leave his cell because of the pain. The cell door was closed,
and he remained on the floor until 6pm, when an ambulance was called.
He was taken to Highland hospital – the same hospital where Olsen was
originally taken after being hit in the head by a projectile apparently
fired by police.
Sabehgi was due to undergo surgery on Friday afternoon to repair his
spleen, which would involve using a clot or patch to prevent internal
Thousands of protesters had attended the action in Oakland on Wednesday,
taking over the downtown area of the city and blockading Oakland's port.
As demonstrations continued near the camp base at Frank H Ogawa plaza
during the evening, a group of protesters occupied a disused building on
16th Street at around 10.30pm, with some climbing up onto the roof.
There had been little police presence during the day, but more than 200
officers arrived after 11pm. Some protesters had set fire to a hastily
assembled barrier at the corner of 16th Street and Telegraph, in a bid
to prevent access to the occupied building, but police drove
demonstrators away from 16th Street using tear gas, flashbang grenades,
and non-lethal rounds.
Sabehgi said he had not been in the occupied building, and was walking
away from the main area of trouble when he was injured.
He said he had his arms folded and was "totally peaceful" before being
A spokeswoman for Highland hospital confirmed Sabehgi had been admitted.
Oakland police were not immediately available for comment.