A man nicknamed the “Piggyback Bandit” for a penchant to hop on the backs of athletes pleaded guilty to two charges of misdemeanor assault Wednesday.

Sherwin Shayegan, 28, admitted to jumping on two players at a state high school soccer tournament held in Helena in October. 

“I made a mistake,” Shayegan told Helena Municipal Court Judge Bob Wood. “I was just trying to be funny and get a piggyback ride.”

Wood fined Shayegan $730 along with a 360-day suspended jail sentence.

“It’s not funny. It could be dangerous,” Wood said. Officials have noted that Shayegan is not a svelte man and weighs about 250 pounds.

“Go back to Seattle and behave,” he added.

Shayegan, who previously pleaded not guilty to the two charges, is notorious for traveling to sporting events in the Pacific Northwest and jumping on athletes’ backs. While news reports have listed many a piggybacking, none has revealed why Shayegan has an affinity for hopping on people’s backs, especially those of high school athletes.

Deputy Helena City Attorney Luke Berger mentioned during the hearing that Shayegan has been permanently banned from any high school sporting event in the state by the Montana High School Association.

At the time of his arrest, Shayegan told police he was banned from sporting events in Washington and Oregon and read about the soccer tourney here, according to Helena Police Chief Troy McGee.

After receiving a complaint, police spotted Shayegan and they watched him give a player a fist bump and then jump on his back. After arresting the bandit, officers learned he had done similar actions to another athlete.

Neither of the teens sustained injuries.

Reporter Angela Brandt: 447-4078, angela.brandt@helenair.com or Twitter.com/IR_AngelaBrandt


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