OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The second Iraq war veteran hospitalized after a confrontation at an “Occupy Oakland” protest wasn’t participating in the demonstration when he was injured and arrested, a friend and colleague said Saturday.
Kayvan Sabeghi, 32, had joined in a march the day before but was only trying to get home when he was beaten by police early Thursday, said Esther Goodstal, who co-owns a brewery with Sabeghi in nearby El Cerrito.
“I saw he had bruises all over his body, and that’s not right,” Goodstal told The Associated Press in a phone interview. “No one should treat another human being like this.”
An Oakland police spokesman didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.
A Highland Hospital spokesman said Sabeghi was in fair condition Saturday but released no further details. Goodstal said Sabeghi was in the intensive care unit and had to undergo surgery for a lacerated spleen. She said he was mostly in good spirits.
“After that, he went out with his friend and had dinner,” she said.
When dinner was over, Sabeghi decided to call it a night because he had to work Thursday. He was walking home in west Oakland sometime late Wednesday or early Thursday when he encountered a line of police at the protest who wouldn’t let him through, Goodstal said.
“Literally, you (could) see his apartment,” she said. “The police for some reason … said, ‘No, you cannot pass.’”
Records show Sabeghi was booked on suspicion of resisting arrest. He was one of more than 100 people arrested by 3 p.m. Thursday.
Goodstal said Sabeghi asked for medical attention several times from a jail cell and an ambulance came more than three hours after another friend posted his bail. An official who answered the phone at an Alameda County Sheriff’s Office jail could confirm only that Sabeghi had been arrested and released on bail.
A week earlier, Marine veteran Scott Olsen, 24, suffered a skull fracture during clashes between police and Occupy Oakland participants.
Olsen, who also served in Iraq, worked his day job as a security software engineer Oct. 25. He then joined participants at night at Occupy San Francisco before traveling across the bay to the Oakland site, where he was injured.
Wall Street protesters around the country have rallied around Olsen’s plight.