The Minnesota State High School League has banned a man from attending high school games and other league-sanctioned events because of his history of jumping on the backs of high school athletes.
David Stead, executive director of the Minnesota State High School League, said that Sherwin Shayegan, 28, was seen in St. Cloud on Thursday and in Minneapolis on Friday.
According to Stead's memo: "Shayegan has been known to mingle in a crowd at a sporting activity and, at a point in time, jump on the back of athletes."
The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reported that Shayegan, a Washington native, had been arrested and pleaded guilty to two assault charges in Montana for jumping on athletes at a soccer game.
The Forum said that Sheyagan refers to himself as the "Piggyback Bandit," a title Stead used in his memo to Minnesota schools.
"Shayegan is known to cause a direct threat to the health and safety of student athletes and others," Stead wrote in the memo, adding that the man has been banned from attending high school events in Washington, Oregon and Montana.
In an interview, Stead said that Shayegan called him Friday morning at about 8:30 a.m. and asked if he was banned from attending high school events in Minnesota -- and Stead told him that he was. Minnesota officials had been aware of Shayegan because of his activities in other states.
"We were aware of him, but not the fact that he was here," Stead said.
During their phone conversation, Stead said that Shayegan told him that he was on a bus headed back for Seattle. That was several hours before Shayegan was reportedly spotted in Minneapolis, Stead added.
A Concordia College official said that Shayegan was at the Wednesday night college basketball game between Concordia and St. Olaf College in Moorhead, where he was seen pouring water for players near the St. Olaf bench. A St. Olaf coach asked that he be removed from the area.
According to an Associated Press story earlier this month, Shayegan acknowledged jumping on two players at a Montana soccer tournament in October. The story continued: "Judge Bob Wood gave the 250-pound man a 360-day suspended jail sentence, fined him $730 and told him to 'go back to Seattle and behave.' "
Last year, Oregon school officials warned athletes to look out for Shayegan after he turned up at events in two cities and Washington police said he gave an athlete money and jumped on his back, according to the AP report.
The Forum reported earlier this week that a Bismarck, N.D., school official said he showed up at a game this week and "there were a number attempts to get piggyback rides, and he was successful at a couple of them."
The school official said Shayegan "tried to make his way to locker rooms and was stopped,” according to the newspaper report.