Schools warned about man who asks for piggyback rides

Schools warned about man who asks for piggyback rides
Sherwin Shayegan is seen in two undated photos provided by police.

EUGENE, Ore. – The group that oversees high school athletics in Oregon has sent out a warning about a suspicious man they say got into locker rooms at several high school sporting events and asked for piggyback rides with high school athletes.

The Oregon School Activities Association sent a memo to all Oregon schools on April 7 warning them about Sherwin Shayegan.

“Shayegan, age 27, was seen last month at OSAA basketball tournaments in Pendleton, Corvallis and Eugene,” the memo said. “At one of those tournaments, he made his way into one of the team’s locker rooms without authorization and sought autographs from team members and photographs. Later, he met players in the parking lot and jumped on them, receiving piggyback rides.”

“Since we sent that out I’ve been notified by six or seven schools that ‘hey, we’ve seen this guy,’” said OSAA executive director Tom Welter.

Welter said Shayegan was spotted at the state basketball tournament at Mac Court in Eugene in March, as well as state tournament events in Corvallis and Pendleton.

Shayegan first showed up on the radar of Oregon officials in 2009 when officials in Washington spotted him acting in a similar way at school events there.

According to KVAL’s sister station KOMO in Seattle, police in Bonney Lake, Wash. said Shayegan lured a football player to a library, saying he wanted to interview the athlete for a college term paper. The student told police the man was acting strange and when he tried to leave, Shayegan jumped on his back and asked for a piggy back ride.

At the time Oregon officials didn’t issue a warning, but when Shayegan was spotted at events in Oregon this March, they issued a warning to all schools. They also filed a trespass letter that prevents him from attending state-sanctioned sporting events, according to Welter.

OSAA spokesman Steve Walker also said Shayegan’s behavior was discussed at a meeting with Oregon high school athletic directors last week in Bend.

The OSAA wrote that Shayegan is a two-time convicted felon for burglary and theft. He also has an extensive record in Washington for trespassing, criminal impersonation and other charges.

“The guy’s 27 years old and has more convictions than he has years. He’s not the kind of person we want hanging around high school students,” said Welter.

So far Welter said Shayegan has only approached male athletes and has not made any overtly sexual moves.

“We just deemed he’s not someone we want hanging around our kids given the past history in another state and now in our state,” Welter said. “I’m more than happy that we’ve done what we done.”