A man infamous for his identity as the “Piggyback Bandit” has been arrested again for touching a 14-year-old boy without his consent at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, according to the Daily Mail.
Sherwin Shayegan allegedly massaged a child waiting for luggage at the carousel in the airport’s JetBlue terminal. Police said Shayegan then handed the child a $10 bill and a note that said “This is money for letting me give you a massage. Thank you.”
Shayegan is originally from Bothell, Washington, so it makes sense that he started at high school games in Oregon and Washington. His routine was simple: He’d show up at a high school sports event, often a basketball game, and coax a high school athlete into giving him a piggyback ride. Sometimes he’d bribe them with “money, water or Gatorade,” according to the Beast. More alarmingly, sometimes he wouldn’t coax anyone at all, simply jumping on an athlete’s back without warning.
The word had already gotten out about him in 2010.
A press release from the Oregon School Activities Association revealed that Shayegan was already prolific by that time, with sightings at basketball tournaments in Pendleton, Corvallis and Eugene. The release said that at one tournament, he got into a locker room to get autographs from the players “without authorization.” Once inside the locker room, Shayegan reportedly sought “autographs from team members” and, creepily, “photographs.”
He is banned from high school sporting events in five states and has posted his own mugshots to his personal Facebook page.
Understandably, police aren’t amused. Shayegan has been charged with assault at least twice; his criminal record has 23 convictions of trespassing, and he has also faced more nefarious charges like felony burglary, theft, criminal impersonation and drug possession. But he always found a way to pay bail and subsequently got himself out.
“He said he didn’t mean to cause any problems,” said David Stead, director of the Minnesota State High School League, which has banned him from all high school events across the state.
“He just liked to do piggyback rides.”