A man banned from high school sporting events in five states for jumping on the backs of athletes at games brought his antics to the Quad-Cities.
It landed Sherwin Shayegan, 29, of Bothell, Wash., in the Scott County Jail on Thursday. By Friday afternoon, he was scrambling to get on a bus to Seattle and avoiding questions from a Quad-City Times reporter who caught up with him at the Davenport Ground Transportation Center.
“Sir, I don’t want to talk about this,” Shayegan said, while gesturing in the busy bus depot.
Sitting alone as his bus sat idle, Shayegan said he was “vacationing” and “passing through” the Quad-Cities. But he appeared eager to move on and keep a low profile.
The man who is not shy about jumping on athletes in front of hundreds of fans stormed off when the reporter asked to take his picture.
Dubbed the “piggyback bandit,” Shayegan reportedly stuck twice on both sides of the Mississippi River.
He showed up at a Black Hawk College men’s basketball game Tuesday in Moline, where he jumped on a player’s back and made some inappropriate comments to referees, Coach Darren Bizarri said Friday.
Two days later, Shayegan disturbed customers at the Schnucks grocery store in Bettendorf, although he didn’t jump on any backs, Schnucks spokesman Paul Simon said.
He entered the store about 4:50 p.m. Thursday and made loud noises, tried to steal a customer’s food, shouted that he was autistic and interrupted employees before he was asked to leave, a police affidavit states. When he returned to the store, a manager called police.
Shayegan’s criminal history goes back to 2008. His antics have gotten him banned from high school sporting events in Washington, Oregon, Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota, the Associated Press reported last year.
He’s stocky at 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighing 245 pounds, according to Scott County Jail records.
“He has a weird fascination with piggyback rides,” Bizarri said.
Bizarri and Black Hawk’s athletic director, Gary Huber, said they spotted Shayegan during the game and thought he was with the team from Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg. He showed up wearing red and blue, the other team’s colors, and seemed to be helping out the team by pouring water for the players.
“He made people think he was part of someone else’s program, helping them out,” Huber said. He later found out Shayegan wasn’t with Carl Sandburg, either.
After the game, Shayegan waited outside the Black Hawk locker room, and when 20-year-old sophomore Cody Cooley came out, he asked Cooley if he could get on his back, Huber said.
Bizarri said Shayegan seemed harmless, and Cooley went along with it. While on his back, Shayegan knocked on the referees’ door, said something derogatory, got off Cooley’s back and ran off, Bizarri said.
Officers from the Black Hawk College police department showed up at his room at La Quinta Inn, Moline, on Wednesday to ban him from the campus, Lt. Terry Engle said.
He was not charged in connection with the Moline incident.
Bettendorf police arrested him on two simple misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass and disorderly conduct after the Schnucks incident Thursday, and he was released on his own recognizance Friday morning.
The Quad-City Times called La Quinta Inn on Friday, and a person at the front desk said Shayegan already had checked out.
At the bus depot, Shayegan said he pleaded guilty to the Bettendorf charges, paid a $65 fine on both charges and doesn’t have to return to the Quad-Cities.
Shayegan reportedly did not hurt anyone during his exploits in the Quad-Cities.
“When you put it all together, ‘weird’ is the best way to describe it,” Bizarri said.
Brian Wellner at 12:51 p.m.
A man banned in five states for jumping on the backs of high school athletes has allegedly brought his antics to the Quad-Cities.
Bettendorf police arrested Sherwin Shayegan, 29, of Bothell, Wash., Thursday on charges he disturbed customers at Schnucks grocery store in Bettendorf, Police Chief Phil Redington said.
He was released Friday from the Scott County Jail in Davenport. Redington believes he may be staying at a hotel in Moline.
Shayegan is charged with two misdemeanor counts, including criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.
He has a lengthy criminal history that goes back to 2008.
Because of his piggyback antics, he’s been called the “piggyback bandit” and has been banned from high school sporting events in Washington, Oregon, Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota, the Associated Press reported last year.
He’s stocky at 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighing 245 pounds, according to Scott County Jail records