There are seven billion people in the world, so it would stand to reason that at least one poor soul would be saddled with an overwhelming compulsion to ride around on the backs of high school athletes.

That’s pretty much the only way we can explain Sherwin Shayegan, aka ‘The Piggyback Bandit.’ Described to police as five-foot eight and stocky, the 28-year old has been banned from high school sporting events in Montana, Washington, Oregon, Montana and North Dakota because of his habit of going up to the players after games and asking them if he could ride around on their backs. The habit began back in 2008 and was last reported earlier this month.

Sometimes Shayegan, who will pose as a water boy or a college student writing a term paper, offers the athletes money for the ride. Sometimes he just hops on without warning. Shayegan looks like he could be mentally challenged, according to first-person accounts, so the players usually appease his strange behavior. But the authorities say Shayegan, who has a long non-piggyback-related criminal record in his home state of Washington, is actually quite intelligent.

“What’s disturbing to me is that he is jumping on our young athletes, he is 240 pounds, and he can hurt someone,” said Mark Beckman, executive director of the Montana High School Sports Association.

Oh totally. That’s obviously the only thing that’s disturbing here. Player injuries. We were thinking the same thing.

[via ESPN]