[Scott Olsen, the Iraq war veteran who suffered serious head injuries after being hit by a projectile fired by police during the Occupy Oakland protests, has woken up and is lucid as he awaits surgery, hospital officials and family members have said.
Olsen, a 24-year-old former US Marine, was struck in the head during anti-Wall Street protests on Tuesday night. He has been upgraded from critical to fair condition.
Olsen "responded with a very large smile" to a visit from his parents, Highland General hospital spokesman Warren Lyons said. "He's able to understand what's going on. He's able to write and hear but has a little difficulty with his speech," Lyons said.]
[OAKLAND -- Scott Olsen, a 24-year-old Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq, stood calmly in front of a police line as tear gas canisters that officers shot into the Occupy Oakland protest Tuesday night whizzed past his head.
"He was standing perfectly still, provoking no one," said Raleigh Latham, an Oakland filmmaker shooting footage of the confrontation between police and hundreds of protesters at 14th Street and Broadway. "If something didn't hit him directly in the face, then it went off close to his head and knocked him down."
The something was a projectile that apparently came from police lines, fractured Olsen's skull and put him in Highland General Hospital. Doctors upgraded his condition Thursday from critical to fair, and said they expect him to make a full recovery.]