Second Iraq War vet hospitalized after Oakland protest
The Guardian reported on Friday that a second Iraq War veteran is in intensive care in an Oakland Hospital, with a lacerated spleen allegedly resulting from a beating by police during the protests on Wednesday night.
This follows the case of Scott Olsen, who was shot in the head with a tear gas projectile during last week’s protests and suffered brain damage for which he remains in the hospital.
Kayvan Sabehgi told the paper that he was walking through central Oakland around midnight on Wednesday, trying to get away from the violent clashes that had broken out, when he came face to face with a line of police officers.
“They told me to move, but I was like: ‘Move to where?'” Sabehgi recalled. “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 arrested me.”
Sabehgi says he was handcuffed and held in a police van for three hours, and that by the time he reached the jail he was in “unbelievable pain.”
“My stomach was really hurting,” he says, “and it got worse to the point where I couldn’t stand up. … I was vomiting and had diarrhoea. I just lay there in pain for hours.”
According to Sabehgi’s sister, when he asked for help the police accused him of being a heroin addict, an alcoholic, and a diabetic.
When his bail was posted the following afternoon, he was in too much pain to leave his cell, so he was simply left lying on the floor until an ambulance was finally called, eighteen hours after his arrest. He was taken to a hospital, where he underwent surgery on Friday afternoon in an attempt to repair his spleen.
A spokesperson for the hospital confirmed to the Guardian that Sabehgi had been admitted, and Reuters has since reported that the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department lists him among those arrested on Wednesday night. Alameda is also suspected of having been responsible for the shooting of Scott Olsen.
Brian Kelly, who co-owns a brew pub with Sabeghi, told Reuters that his partner, a former Army Ranger who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan,”told me he was in the hospital with a lacerated spleen and that the cops had jumped him.”
(Reuters link via Ryan Devereaux.)
Photo by By Heart of Oak on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/gypsyrock/6295706273/) [CC-BY-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.