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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Occupy Oakland Arrests: Armor-Wearing "Real Life Superhero" Faces Resisting Arrest Charge

Posted By on Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 9:25 AM

click to enlarge Real-life superheroes on a more peaceful day. Sorvari is on the right.
  • Real-life superheroes on a more peaceful day. Sorvari is on the right.

UPDATE, 12:50 p.m.: Those who want to donate to Sorvari's bail fund can do so here.

Original story:

Three of the Occupy Oakland protesters who were arrested after last week's General Strike turned chaotic were arraigned in Alameda Superior Court on Monday. Among them was a roughed up "real-life superhero" who had attended the march dressed as a ninja with homemade armor, but whose family believes he might have been mistaken by cops for a black bloc anarchist.


Roy Sorvari, a 22-year-old former Boy Scout who lives with his parents in Antioch, answered to charges of resisting arrest -- prosecutors alleged he kicked and attempted to hit a cop with his shield. With stitches in his forehead and two black eyes, the 5-foot-5, 130-pound Sorvari claims he had been beaten and knocked unconscious during the early hours last Thursday -- perhaps by police -- after the protest turned violent, according to his attorney, Jeffrey Kaloustian, of the National Lawyers Guild. Sorvari faces a felony charge of resisting arrest and a $15,000 bail. 


The Alameda County district attorney didn't file charges for eight other protesters of the 11 who were scheduled to be arraigned yesterday. They were the same ones who'd been held in custody over the weekend or who'd posted bail, according to Greg Michalec of Occupy Legal, an organization set up for the legal defense of arrested demonstrators. The rest of the 103 protesters arrested during last week's strike will be arraigned in the coming weeks.

Sorvari, awesomely, belongs to a international confederation of civilian peacekeepers --  somewhat akin to the Guardian Angels -- who don cartoonish costumes and call themselves the "Real Life Superheroes." The group claims about a half-dozen members in the Bay Area,  said a fellow superhero with the handle "Motor Mouth" who showed up in the courtroom Monday to support Sorvari.

"Motor Mouth" said he and Sorvari -- whose superhero handle is "Ray" -- have been providing security at night for the Occupy Oakland encampment in Frank Ogawa Plaza, protecting the people's right to assembly. 

While "Motor Mouth" didn't attend the general strike last week, he says Sorvari showed up in his usual superhero get-up -- a black balaclava, all-black clothes, ski goggles, and homemade body armor that lights up. In addition, "Motor Mouth" says he'd lent Sorvari a Captain America-like shield for the event. 

"Motor Mouth" says he is "120 percent sure" that cops had mistaken Sorvari for one of the black bloc anarchists who emerged after the peaceful march, breaking windows and setting fire in downtown Oakland in the early morning hours on Thursday.

Sorvari's mother, Lynn, said, "Maybe that was a mistake; maybe he should have had a more high-profile costume."

His parents, who are between jobs and have four other children, say they are going to start a PayPal account for donations to help them pay $1,500 -- the 10 percent they have to put up for Sorvari's bail. We'll post an update as soon as the account is up and running.

When Kaloustian came out Monday afternoon after talking to Sorvari, he delivered the following message to "Motor Mouth," who was waiting in the hallway: "Sorry about losing your shield."

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Lauren Smiley

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