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Injured Elevation 66 Co-owner, Questions Remain

Kayvan Sabeghi, a founding partner of the Elevation 66 brewpub, is out of the hospital after being injured during an arrest by Oakland police at Occupy Oakland protests a week ago, but several questions cloud the incident and the original reporting on it.

Elevation 66 co-owner Kayvan Sabeghi, who said he was seriously injured by police who arrested him during Occupy Oakland disturbances last week, is recovering well after being released from the hospital, according to one of his business partners.

At the same time, both lingering and new questions remain unanswered since his arrest by Oakland police at 1:30 a.m. Nov. 3, the near-riotous evening that made news after vandalism and police-protestor clashes flared following a "general strike" action during the day by Occupy movement supporters.

The police side of what happened still hasn't been revealed.

Johnna Watson, public information officer, for Oakland police told Patch Thursday the department "is conducting an investigation regarding Mr. Sabeghi."

According to , Sabeghi is a U.S. military veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan who said he was leaving the protest scene and trying to persuade police to let him pass a police line to go to home when he was beaten by police with batons and arrested. He was quoted as saying he was kept in jail for several hours despite being in excruciating pain and wasn't taken to a hospital until 18 hours later.

News accounts said he suffered a lacerated or ruptured spleen and underwent surgery Friday at the Alameda County Medical Center, also known as Highland Hospital.

However, a hospital spokesman told Patch that he did not have surgery at the hospital, and a U.S. Army spokesman told Patch that the army has no record of  Sabeghi being deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Sabeghi could not be reached for comment.

In footage of his arrest shot by KTVU television, Sabeghi said to police and sheriff's deputies around him, "I'm an Iraq war vet. I had two tours in Iraq. I had two tours in Iraq, one tour in Afghanistan." It was widely reported that he was the second war veteran injured in the Occupy Oakland protests following the injury of Scott Olsen on Oct. 25.

Army spokesman Troy Roland said Thursday that the army has no record of Sabeghi being deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. Another army spokesman, Paul Prince, said Sabeghi served as a sergeant eligible for army Rangers. He joined the army in November 2003 and was discharged four years later, Prince said. Reuters reported Sabeghi had been based in South Korea when he left the army.

One of his Elevation 66 partners, Brian Kelly, told Patch Thursday that Sabeghi did serve in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Also on Thursday, Highland Hospital spokesman Curt Olsen said Sabeghi had a "procedure" during his stay at the hospital but did not undergo surgery. He said he could not disclose information about Sabeghi's injuries or treatment.

Sabeghi was released from the hospital Tuesday, Olsen said. "Obviously when we let him go, he was in good condition."

Kelly said Sabeghi's spleen was not removed and that the treatment he received involved some kind of tying or clamping connected with the spleen.

Also on Thursday, a friend of Sabeghi's was quoted saying that Sabeghi "told my wife and me it makes him uncomfortable to be in the spotlight and he would like to settle this matter outside of the public eye as much as possible." The friend, Richie Collins, made the comment in an email sent to the creator of a new Facebook page, "We Are All Kayvan Sabeghi." Collins asked that the page be taken down.

The page was created by Alan Kurtz of Redwood City, who said he had no connection to Sabeghi or his family. Kurtz removed all the earlier posts on the page on Thursday afternoon after receiving Collins' email, and the only post remaining Thursday night was one by Kurtz quoting the email from Collins.

Sabeghi also was highlighted at the El Cerrito City Council Monday when Mayor Ann Cheng said in her opening remarks, "One of our local business owners of Elevation 66 ... was brutally beaten by the Oakland police department, and I just wanted to extend my personal support for his right to be where he was without provocation as a war veteran of Afghanistan and I believe Iraq." She added that she wanted to lend her support for the Occupy Oakland movement.

According to Kelly, Sabeghi said he wanted to return to work at Elevation 66 today (Friday).

Leon Flow November 24, 2011 at 12:01 AM
Or don't move on. It just makes you look like a weirdo with an agenda.
Alan Kurtz November 24, 2011 at 01:12 AM
Leon Flow, you either did not read or chose to ignore my comment on this thread time/date stamped 7:21pm on Tuesday, Nov. 22. I noted that The Guardian published Adam Gabbatt's article "Occupy Oakland: footage shows police beating 'peaceful' Iraq war veteran" last Friday. Gabbatt, I added, also appeared on Current TV's Countdown with Keith Olbermann to further publicize this story. If you Google "Kayvan Sabeghi" in the timeframe Nov. 19 thru today, you'll find additional coverage by ABC7's Wayne Freedman (Nov. 19), Daily Kos (Nov. 20), Gawker (Nov. 21), the International Business Times republished by the L.A. Times (both Nov. 21), Wikipedia (Nov. 22), and hundreds upon hundreds of other sources. So when you state, "I haven't seen any other news sources that are covering this," you're either lazy or lying. You also assert that Sabeghi's friends and family "have been ignoring" me. Again, you ought to read the preceding insults directed at me on this thread: [continued]
Alan Kurtz November 24, 2011 at 01:12 AM
(1) Richie Collins, 4:05pm on Friday, Nov. 18, 2011. "Clearly you are a sick individual ... your behavior reeks of a sad and lonely man who uses the misfortunes of others to attract attention to themselves ... you come off as a truly pathetic individual." (2) Sara, 9:21pm on Friday, Nov. 18. "Alan Kurtz: You are a weirdo ... see a shrink." (3) Oscar Webster, 5:29am on Saturday, Nov. 19. "You are an obese 66 year old white male who writes hate articles" and "set up several bogus facebook accounts with the intent to slander innocent people ... you are a disgrace and WILL be held accountable for your actions. You are a sociopath / psychopath." (4) Leon Flow, 4:01pm on Wednesday, Nov. 23. "You look like a weirdo with an agenda." Any fair reader of this thread will conclude that my posts have been rational and coherent, whereas the vilification of me has been wholly ad hominem. That's not what I call "ignoring" me. Nor is Richie Collins' harassment of me by posting the same, identically worded rant 25 times in quick succession on my Facebook page, forcing me to ban him. Or posts from Kayvan's mother, Diane, insulting me and forcing me to ban her. Really, Leon, you and Kayvan's other supporters ought to take your heads out of your butts and address the issues instead of vilifying me personally.
Leon Flow November 29, 2011 at 11:07 PM
Like I said, "Judging by the very few posts..."
Leon Flow November 30, 2011 at 08:19 PM
Alan Kurtz said: "Leon Flow, you either did not read or chose to ignore my comment..." and "when you state, "I haven't seen any other news sources that are covering this," you're either lazy or lying." Wrong on all accounts... Alan, when I said "I haven't seen any other news sources that are covering this", I was talking about the subject of this El Cerrito Patch article, particularly, Sabeghi's military record (also note my previous statement: "you and some small local paper are the only ones who seem to care about the legitimacy of his military record"). And I still haven't seen any other news source questioning his military record, which for some reason has you all bent out of shape. Many sources have stated that Sabeghi was an Army Ranger. Well, rangers get deployed differently than the other branches, including the regular Army, so the Army spokesperson would probably have difficulty confirming. Knowing the military, there are a myriad of possibilities to explain their records. My point is that his military record is not as important as the police brutality which is continuing to be used on protesters. This makes your focus and effort to discredit Sabeghi seem a little wacky; his record is not a priority to anyone but you and maybe the El Cerrito Patch; this is why you seem like a weirdo with an agenda, etc. So you want to talk about heads and asses, well, everyone is addressing the issues of police brutality; this is the real issue. So, take your own advice.

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