Courts & Crime

Strange crime: Man stealing piggy back rides from athletes

BONNEY LAKE, Wash. — Police here are warning high school students to be wary of a man who might have a developmental disability and a fixation with high school athletes.

The warning came after a Bonney Lake High School football player was lured to the public library Monday by the man, who'd said he was going to help the player with a college term paper interview, police reported Tuesday.

During the meeting, the man, who said his name was Dale, began acting strangely and made the student suspicious, police said. When the student decided to leave, the man jumped on the student's back and asked for a piggy back ride, police said.

The student fled after the man gave him a package that contained "odd amounts of money," police said.

Police said they have identified the man, who is believed to have had similar encounters with high school students across the state.

Police said they have probable cause to arrest the man on suspicion of simple assault in connection with the piggy back ride and were seeking a warrant for his arrest, police spokesman Tony Rice said.