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Piggyback Bandit banished from Minnesota sports

News has spread throughout the country of a man who has been dubbed as the "Piggyback Bandit." The man is known for attending high school sporting activities throughout the country and asking players for piggyback rides before and after games. He has been sited throughout the country, including events in St. Cloud.

Law enforcement officials in one state went as far as charging the 28-year-old man with two counts of misdemeanor assault. In that criminal case, he pled guilty to the charges and will spend 360 days in prison. Since that time, more states, including Minnesota, have banned him from sporting events. Authorities are on the lookout for the man, wherever he shows up.

Several years ago, he was well-known within one particular community as an "eccentric nuisance," who spent most of his time bothering staff and game day officials. He was eventually asked to stay away from those sporting events as well.

It is believed that the man may have some mental disabilities, which could be the root of his frequent and socially awkward behavior. Others have written him off as someone that is potentially dangerous and trying to take advantage of the system. This case highlights the importance of how mental disabilities can affect a person's behavior. Though a disability does not necessarily make something right, it can definitely explain why certain people behave outside the norm.

When you or someone you love is accused of a crime, and they are living with a mental disability, it is important to employ the legal services of someone with the sensitivity to deal with these types of cases. Everyone is entitled to a capable defense in court, no matter the circumstances of the crime.

Though the Piggyback Bandit might continue to make national news headlines or be the punch line for jokes, his case raises real concerns. Perhaps the traditional channels of the criminal justice are not appropriate in this particular instance.

Source: ESPN, "'Piggyback bandit' banned in five states," Feb. 16, 2012

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