Police in Bonney Lake and around the state are asking residents to keep their eyes open for a man known as the “Piggyback Bandit” who this week was put on a bus in North Dakota and sent back to his home state of Washington.
Sherwin Shayegan of Bothell has been banned from all high school events in five state, including Washington, because of his habit of jumping on to the backs of high school athletes.
Shayegan was last seen in Bonney Lake in September 2009 when he posed as a member of the press in order to interview a high school football player. According to a police report of the incident, Shayegan asked the boy, who was 18 at the time, a serious of sports-related questions before switching to a set about bodily functions.
As the player left the meeting at the Bonney Lake Library, Shayegan allegedly jumped on his back and asked for a piggyback ride to his car.
When police confronted him several days later, Shayegan admitted he had jumped on the player’s back and said he was “playing” with him and admitted to police he used the story of being a journalist to get the student to meet with him.
Shayegan, who told police he has a form of Asperger Syndrome, said there was nothing sexual about what he did, he simply wanted to be friends, but he stated several times that he knew he was being inappropriate.
“He understands clearly that what he is doing is wrong,” Bonney Lake Det. Brian Byerly said Friday.
Shayegan was arrested and charged with fourth degree assault. He presently has an active warrant out of Bonney Lake as well as several other municipalities, all for similar offenses.
According to Byerly, Shayegan was trespassed from all Sumner schools, as well as several others in the state, but continued to move from school to school to get close to athletes. Police in several cities, including Bonney Lake and Sumner, contacted the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association and had him banned from all school events throughout the state.
“That’s how we finally solved the problem,” Byerly said.
But last week, Bonney Lake police were contacted by police in Bismarck, ND, regarding Shayegan. Bonney Lake officials recounted their story and Shayegan has now been banned from school events in a total of five states.
However, officials in North Dakota put Shayegan on a bus headed back to Washington.
“As far as we know, he’s not actively trying to hurt the kids,” Byerly said. “But he definitely has intentions to be inappropriate.”