Originally Posted Online: Feb. 01, 2013, 7:52 pm
Last Updated: Feb. 01, 2013, 9:59 pm

Piggyback Bandit arrested in Bettendorf

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By Kevin Smith, ksmith@qconline.com

Photo: msnbc
Sherwin Shayegan, the "Piggyback Bandit," wearing a basketball jersey on this image from MSNBC, was arrested Wednesday and later released after several incidents at a Schnucks grocery store in Bettendorf. The 29-year-old Bothell, Wash., man also was reportedly seen at a Black Hawk College men's basketball game against Carl Sandburg Tuesday night.

A Washington man who crashed a Black Hawk College basketball game Tuesday was arrested the next day at Schnucks in Bettendorf after allegedly trying to steal another customer's groceries.

Sherwin Shayegan, 29, of Bothell, Wash., was arrested Wednesday evening at the grocery store at 858 Middle Road, Bettendorf, and charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing, Bettendorf police said.

The ruckus that prompted several customer complaints lasted "a couple hours," said Bettendorf Police Sgt. George Ramos.

According to the police report, Mr. Shayegan shouted at store employees and told them how to do their jobs. Sgt. Ramos said Mr. Shayegan left and returned to the storenumerous times after management repeatedly asked him to leave.

Sgt. Ramos said Mr. Shayegan drove a "Hoveround"-like scooter through the store and shouted that he suffered from a mental disability whenever he was confronted.Sgt. Ramos said Mr. Shayegan was trying to "play it up" and "cause a big scene" to garner sympathy from others whenever approached by store management.

Dubbed nationally as the "Piggyback Bandit," Mr. Shayegan aroused suspicion Tuesday after he crashed a BHC men's basketball game. There, he asked a player for a piggyback ride after the game and shouted at the officials, according to the team's coach Darren Bizarri.

According to the internet zine Deadspin, Mr. Shayegan is known for"lurking around libraries and gyms and stealing piggyback rides from unsuspecting athletes.'' The ESPN website stated he has been"banned from high school sporting events in Washington, Oregon, Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota."

Police do not know why Mr. Shayegan was in the area, but Sgt. Ramos speculated the man's reason was likely sports-related.

Mr. Shayegan was released from police custody earlier this week, police said.




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