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Police: 'Piggyback Bandit' Gropes Boy, 14, At Newark Bag Carousel, Pays Him

Sherwin Shayegan
Sherwin Shayegan Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy PORT AUTHORITY PD / INSET: Courtesy NEWS4 Virginia

NEWARK, N.J. -- A man once dubbed "the piggyback bandit" was arrested after police said he groped a 14-year-old boy at a Newark Airport baggage carousel and then paid him for it.

Sherwin Shayegan, 34, of Washington State, was "wearing a distinctive Seattle Seahawks hat and other clothing" that allowed Port Authority police to find him at a local hotel a short time after the 3:10 p.m. incident Friday, the authority's Joseph Pentangelo said.

The boy told police he was at the Terminal A carousel when Shayegan "began to massage his back without permission," Pentangelo said.

Shayegan also handed him a note, with cash, the boy added.

"This is money for letting me give you a massage. Thank you," the 5-foot-9-inch, 245-pound suspect wrote along with "additional, alarming content," Pentangelo said.

Police armed with a detailed description canvassed the airport, interviewed cab drivers and dispatchers and discovered that Shayegan had gotten a lift to the nearby Marriott, where they found him staying.

He was carrying several "disturbing notes and money in envelopes with various US airports written on them, similar to the one handed to the boy at the airport, Pentangelo said.

Shayegan, of Bothell, WA, was charged with child endangerment.

Two years ago, Shayegan was charged with grabbing the arm of a player at a high school hockey game in Virginia and trying to pull him into a locker room.

Before then, he'd spent several years going from state to state posing as an adult member of a high school basketball team.

Police said he touched players and asked for piggyback rides. His mother said he has Asperger's and was compulsively reliving part of a youth spent as a high school team manager.

In the Virginia case, a judge suspended 10 months of a year's sentence, put Shayegan on probation and ordered him to complete a mental health evaluation.

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