OAKLAND (CBS 5) – A U.S. Marine who had served two tours of duty in Iraq was critically injured during an altercation between police and protesters on the streets of Oakland Tuesday night.

Scott Olsen sustained a skull fracture after being shot in the head with a police projectile, according to a press release from Iraq Veterans Against the War – which claims Olsen as a member.

Friends told CBS 5 that the injury was a skull fracture, and Oakland’s Highland Hospital spokesperson Curt Olsen confirmed that Scott Olsen’s condition was listed as critical.

The protests began around 4 p.m. near the main branch of the Oakland Public Library at 14th and Madison streets. The crowd was ordered to disperse several times as they marched from the library to City Hall.

During the protests Tuesday night many officers were assaulted, doused and hit with hazardous materials and hit with large rocks and bottles, police spokeswoman Cynthia Perkins said. Perkins said this resulted in a declaration of an unlawful assembly. To enforce dispersal orders officers used less-than-lethal force tactics.

Photo Gallery: Occupy Oakland Protests

The rallies followed 79 arrests made Tuesday morning at the Occupy Oakland encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Scott joined the Marines in 2006, served two-tours in Iraq, and was discharged in 2010. Scott moved to California from Wisconsin and currently works as a systems network administrator in Daly City, according to the press release.

Scott was sedated at a local hospital awaiting examination by a neurosurgeon Tuesday, according to Iraq Veterans Against the War.

The “Occupy Oakland” demonstrators announced Wednesday that they planned to return to the plaza every night at 6 p.m. to continue the protest in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS SF. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (35)
  1. All4114All says:

    Shame on the Oakland PD.

    1. norbit says:

      Shame for what? Why were they there in the first place? Oakland PD gave them warnings not to be there and yet they kept on coming back. This article is trying to point the finger at Oakland PD for hurting the Iraq veteran. But who knew the projectiles would hit him like that? PD was just defending themselves from the idiots who decided to stay in that area and attack the officers. I fully support Oakland PD. My only dissatisfaction with the Oakland PD was that they didn’t use bullets to defend themselves.

      1. Fed Up says:

        Norbit, I agree with you completely. There are always those participating in protests who seem to look for and enjoy causing trouble.

      2. Gina says:

        Shame for possibly destroying a young man’s brain for life.
        Shame for being stupid enough to recklessly bombard the protestors with flashbangs and then denying it (even though it was all caught on video by hundreds of people).
        Shame for costing the city & county potentially MILLIONS in injury lawsuits. Do you have any idea how much it costs to compensate young, high-functioning guys like Scott Olsen for traumatic brain injuries?

      3. JR says:

        I support OPD 100%. We havd no idea what he was hit with. People are NEVER happy with the police. So, I saw let them take over the city. Let them riot, Let them ruin the city and then we will see who gets called for help.

    2. David Christensen says:

      This is the video of OPD throwing a flash bang into the crowd of ppl trying to help him. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZLyUK0t0vQ&feature=share

    3. JR says:

      Shame on you. Let’s see of you can do a better job!

  2. ss says:

    defending themselves from what??????????????? there is no recorded evidence of any activity against the police.

    1. JR says:

      Your kidding right?? Were you there?? Do you really think it was peaceful?

  3. HippiesSuck says:

    Ha ha moronic hippies

  4. Jennifer Hathaway says:

    This is why the “mainstream” news isn’t, anymore. These apparent lies that you propagate [aka “spin”] will bring you down in the end. The whole world has seen the footage of what really happened.
    Until the officers who committed these crimes are prosecuted and put into prison [no whitewashing “hearings” here] and this news organization lives up to its supposed job, nobody is going to believe a thing any of you say.
    Watch the following: http://youtu.be/OZLyUK0t0vQ and then please explain to me how I should believe you, the nodding “watchdog”/parrot and the Oakland PR department and not my own lying eyes, again?
    Shame on the City of Oakland, and shame on you for trying to help them to get away with this. Didn’t your mother ever teach you not to trust a politician? [I know “journalism” school didn’t]

  5. dbarco says:

    The community via its police is asking for order. The protestors need to make sure that if they decide to not clear out that they convey that message early on to the police AND make sure that all of the protestors conduct themselves in a
    non violent way. Unfortunately, the anarchists from outside the community and even outside the state have made this their playyard. Oakland needs to deal with them in the strongest way. NON ENFORCEMENT BREEDS NONCONFORMITY!!!

  6. dbarco says:


  7. Otney says:

    One wrote: But who knew the projectiles would hit him like that?

    The Oakland PD knows that projectiles like that can hurt people – the OPD is bound by its own Crowd Management / Crowd Control Policy. Which explicitly states that the OPD is not to shoot munitions of any sort, including tear gas cannisters, into a crowd. Period. The OPD violated its own policy last night and now a vet is critically injured. Why is that okay?

    What rebar was thrown at the cops? Where was that reported? Why does anyone assume that the demonstrators were violent? The OPD report that paint balls were thrown at them – and also allege rocks and bottles. There is so much, so much footage on you tube and elsewhere – none shows violence by the folks demonstrating. I have seen no footage of any demonstrators throwing anything. Why would anyone want the police to use bullets to stop persons peaceably gathered publicly to seek redress of grievances?

    1. norbit says:

      Yea, that’s why there were MULTIPLE reports from people within the protest that stated people were throwing objects at the cops… And peaceful protest my #ss. When you start throwing stuff at the PD, you should be lucky you don’t get shot at…because that should’ve happened. A peaceful protest is when you don’t disrupt the public in whatever you plan on protesting about. When I have to get up at 5AM in the morning to work and I hear that couple streets are blocked off and couple BART stations are shut down in Oakland because you losers are causing problems for PD, I don’t feel sorry for any of you protestors that get hurt.

    2. Mack says:

      He should have know the projectiles would have hit him like that. He was a Marine! They gave him ample warning to disperse and he didn’t.

  8. taxpayer says:

    ever occur to anyone that the occupy message has been lost? small businesses are losing business, oakland losing tax monies, more unemployed. and, we taxpayer’s, who support the right to assemble/protest, are paying the overtime for the police and other services. to the protesters, you made your point, now leave. staying is over staying.

  9. luvenlust says:

    so sad i hope he recovers well
    the oaklnad police should be ashamed
    99% keep occupying until change comes
    it will happen!

  10. Mike CA says:

    The OWS crowd purport to represent the 99%. But I ask you, 99% of what? Read more at

  11. Guapi says:

    Hey, I just want to walk through the plaza without smelling or stepping in human fecal matter! It’s bad enough stepping in doggie doo doo.

  12. Gina says:

    I think most would agree now that Joe Vazquez has been exposed as a tool and an amateurish “reporter” not to be trusted and too lazy or biased to investigate anything. The same is true with local anchor Allen Martin (who concluded OPD weren’t to blame), who obviously can’t think beyond his teleprompter.

    This footage clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqNOPZLw03Q&eurl=http%3A%2F%2F and many others like it on youtube show the scene from different angles, including what’s going on behind police lines. It shows no evidence of the protestors being violent to police. It does show, however, that a police officer standing in the front of the police line had a clear view of the protestors when throwing the flashbang at the protestors.