* Protester in intensive care
* City says eight people injured in confrontations
By Noel Randewich
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 4 A former U.S. Army Ranger
and Occupy Oakland protester was in intensive care on Friday
after a veterans' group said he was beaten by police during
clashes with anti-Wall Street demonstrators this week.
Kayvan Sabeghi, 32, was arrested and hospitalized about a
week after another U.S. military veteran, former Marine Scott
Olsen, was badly injured in a confrontation with police that
helped spark the latest round of unrest.
The group Iraq Veterans Against the War said Sabeghi was
detained during disturbances that erupted late on Wednesday in
downtown Oakland and was charged with resisting arrest and
remaining present at the place of a riot.
Police arrested more than 100 demonstrators in clashes with
protesters late on Wednesday and early on Thursday following a
day of mostly peaceful rallies against economic inequality,
corporate excesses and bailouts of major banks.
Several bank branches were closed and the Port of Oakland
was shut down for several hours by the demonstrations.
Brian Kelly, who co-owns a brew pub with Sabeghi, said his
business partner told him he was arrested and beaten by a group
of policemen as he was leaving the protest to go home.
"He told me he was in the hospital with a lacerated spleen
and that the cops had jumped him," Kelly said, adding that
Sabeghi had served as an Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"They put him in jail, and he told them he was injured, and
they denied him medical treatment for about 18 hours," he
The Oakland Police Department did not immediately return
calls seeking comment.
The veterans' group said in a statement that police struck
Sabeghi with nightsticks on his hands, shoulders, ribs and
back, and that in addition to a lacerated spleen he suffered
from internal bleeding.
Sabeghi's name was listed by the Alameda County Sheriff's
Office as among those arrested that night, and Highland General
Hospital confirmed he was a patient in its intensive care
City officials have said that eight people -- five
civilians and three police officers -- were injured in the
late-night confrontations. But it was not immediately clear
whether Sabeghi was among those counted as hurt.
Police had remained largely out of sight during Wednesday's
protests until busloads of officers in riot gear moved in on
demonstrators at about midnight, firing volleys of tear gas to
disperse hundreds lingering near a downtown plaza used as a
base camp for Occupy Oakland activists.
Police made a second charge with batons and tear gas about
an hour later to drive protesters deeper into the square.
City officials said police had acted in response to small
pockets of "anarchists" who vandalized property, set fires,
assaulted police officers and broke into a downtown building.
Many protesters said that the streets were largely calm
when police converged, although sporadic vandalism and
unruliness had been reported during the day.
The call for a citywide strike that preceded the
confrontations was triggered in part by outrage over Scott
Olsen's injuries during a separate confrontation with police
last Tuesday that became a rallying cry for the anti-Wall
Street protest movement nationwide.