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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

The Piggyback Bandit Has Now Been Banned From High School Sporting Events In Minnesota, Too

Illustration for article titled The Piggyback Bandit Has Now Been Banned From High School Sporting Events In Minnesota, Too

On Friday we brought you an update to the story of Sherwin Shayegan, the inveterate piggyback bandit, who's spread his terror throughout the northern United States over the past several years.


He assumes a variety of disguises—benchwarmer, reporter, fan—and then jumps on the backs of high schoolers everywhere. Deadspin intern Dave Shireley once attended a high school in North Dakota which Shayegan is accused of visiting. He's spooked.


Today, the Associated Press found out what they were missing, and finally hauled their teletype machines up to the 49th parallel to report on our nation's most fascinating character since Lincoln:

Shayegan's antics stretch back to 2008 and had been mainly confined to Washington and Oregon. But since last fall, he has worked his way east to Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota, leaving a trail of befuddled athletes in his wake.

Shayegan has asked for piggybacks, attempted to pay for piggybacks and just sprung one upon an unsuspecting kid. He favors basketball games, but he also has leapt onto hockey, soccer and football players.

He has pretended to interview athletes for a term paper, acted as a team manager or just tried to blend in with the crowd for a piggyback payoff.

Why he does it is unclear, as is who came up with the "Piggyback Bandit" nickname that now follows him wherever he goes. Shayegan, contacted on his cellphone Tuesday, politely declined to speak of the piggyback rides until he could talk to an attorney.

Shayegan also popped up at a college basketball game, St. Olaf against Concordia, in Minnesota late last week. He gave the players water, but there is no evidence he attempted any piggyback rides. Nonetheless, he's been banned from games in Minnesota.

Our instinct would tell us that Shayegan, whose whereabouts are unknown, is working his way east and might soon be in Wisconsin or Michigan's upper peninsula. We'll keep you apprised of future developments.

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