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).