'Piggyback Bandit' jumping on athletes

Feb. 12, 2012 at 12:02 AM
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FARGO, N.D., Feb. 11 (UPI) -- A Seattle man dubbed the "piggyback bandit" has been reported jumping or trying to jump on the backs of athletes at games in five states, officials say.

The Forum of Fargo, N.D., reported Saturday the man, identified as Sherwin Shayegan, 28, has shown up in North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Washington and Oregon.

The newspaper said Shayegan, who weighs an estimated 250 pounds, has been banned from all high school sports events in North Dakota after episodes at three schools in Bismarck. A Minnesota high school league official said Shayegan was spotted in St. Cloud Thursday and was known to be in Minneapolis Friday, the Forum said.

Jim Haussler, activities director for Bismarck, N.D., Public Schools, said Shayegan was apologetic during a phone call Friday but seemed insincere.

"It's just a continuing pattern of deception. I think it was basically to feel out where the potential charges sit," Haussler said.

The newspaper said Shayegan pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor assault charges last week in Helena, Mont.

He also has been convicted of felony burglary and theft, the Oregon School Activities Association said, and in Washington state, he has about two dozen convictions for trespassing, criminal impersonation and possession charges.

"It's the creepiness of the behavior that alarms most people," Haussler said. "It's a little creepy. Well, a lot creepy is more like it."

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