Kayvan Sabehgi, Army Ranger and Iraq/Afghan War Vet, Hospitalized with Ruptured Spleen after Police Beating and Arrest During ‘Occupy Oakland’ Clash
Kayvan Sabehgi wasn’t looking for any trouble Wednesday night. He was just trying to get home after participating in the peaceful Oakland general strike. But when the 32-year-old veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan ran into a police line downtown during– but away from– clashes between ‘Occupy Oakland’ protesters and police, things got very ugly.
“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.”
The veteran was thrown in a police van for three hours before being transported to jail. He says he was in “unbelievable pain.”
“My stomach was really hurting, and it got worse to the point where I couldn’t stand up,” he told the Guardian. “I was on my hands and knees and crawled over to the cell door to call for help.”
“I was vomiting and had diarrhea. I just lay there in pain for hours.”
According to ABC7, Sabehgi begged to see a doctor but was told to “stop doing heroin.” But Sabehgi is no drug addict. In fact, he owns an artisan brewery in nearby El Cerrito.
Sabehgi was bailed out the next afternoon. By then, the pain was so bad that he couldn’t leave his jail cell. Eventually– around 6PM the day after his arrest– an ambulance rushed him to Highland Hospital, the same facility where U.S. Marine and Iraq war veteran and ‘Occupy’ protester Scott Olsen was operated on after his skull was fractured by police a week earlier. Sabehgi underwent surgery Friday to repair his lacerated spleen. He is recovering in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
Kayvan Sabehgi’s brutal arrest came as a small subgroup of protesters occupied an abandoned building on 16th Street, a couple of blocks from the ‘Occupy Oakland’ encampment at Frank H. Ogawa (Oscar Grant) Plaza in downtown. Some protesters set a bonfire barrier in an attempt to prevent officers from re-taking the building. After 11PM, more than 200 officers attacked protesters with chemical weapons, flashbang grenades and “non-lethal” projectiles like bean bag rounds and rubber-coated steel bullets.
Sabehgi told the Guardian that he had nothing to do with the building occupation and that he was “totally peaceful” before his arrest.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Department and the Oakland Police Department say they are investigating the incident.
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