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The Blotter: The Piggyback Bandit 

Bizarre crime from Charlotte police files

The Rubdown CMPD sent out a press release last week that should immediately be recognized as a Blotter classic. Police were only recently made aware of a crime committed at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in April 2017 by "the Piggyback Bandit," who is already wanted for similar crimes in airports around the country. According to the release, a 20-year-old man was at the airport last April when another man began rubbing his shoulders without even buying him a drink first. The creepy suspect did, however, hand the confused victim an envelope containing $10 and a letter thanking him for allowing the massage. The victim didn't think much of it until he saw a news report on January 4 describing a similar incident involving a juvenile at Newark International Airport. When he recognized Sherwin Shayegan, the suspect in that incident, as the same man who gave him his massage last year, he called police and reported the incident. The victim met with police and handed over the note, which he had apparently kept all this time as a memento. He did not, however, turn over the $10. After all, he earned that. CMPD's Airport Division has taken out a warrant for simple assault on Shayegan.

New Year, New Car Police came across the scene of a one-vehicle wreck near Clanton Park in west Charlotte just seven hours into the new year. According to the report, a Lexus had gone off the road and struck several trees before catching fire. The keys were still in the ignition, although the driver was nowhere to be found. Police went to visit the person who owned the car, and according to the report, "the vehicle owner would later attempt to report the listed vehicle stolen." The use of the word "attempt" in that sentence leads us to believe the response was something like, "You already started this year with a wreck, don't follow it up with a bad lie."

Losing It Another man lost control in a different way on New Year's Eve, although he was far more honest with police when the shit later hit the fan. Police responded to a 7-Eleven on East Independence Boulevard and met a 46-year-old man who thought his car had been stolen. The man told police "he believed he parked his vehicle" at the gas station at about 12:15 a.m. before getting a ride to his residence, but the car wasn't there when he returned later on New Year's Day. An employee told the driver that the car wasn't there when the employee arrived at work at 6 a.m. It soon became clear why the man was so confused about what may or may not have happened to has car when he admitted to police that at the time he parked the car, he was drunk and having an emotional breakdown. Here's hoping this guy's year turns around.

Hitting Rock Bottom A man started off the new year with at least one felony after his New Year's Eve party night went too long and he completely lost his shit at Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery. Officers originally responded to the restaurant in Uptown at around 2:45 a.m. on New Year's Day for a shots fired call. At some point, they tried to arrest the suspect, who tried to resist by kicking a male officer in the groin and trying to spit on another.

Gotta Hand It To Her It's unclear why a 22-year-old woman was reaching for her gun at 12:05 a.m. on New Year's Day, but what quickly did become clear was that she had made her first mistake of the year, and it was a bad one. The woman reported that she was in her east Charlotte home when she went to grab her gun out of a box right after midnight. She did not know the gun was loaded, however, and accidentally fired it, hitting herself in the hand. She was hospitalized for the non-life-threatening wound.

Kamikaze A couple CMPD officers were either in the wrong place at the wrong time while patrolling near Romare Bearden Park last week, or they were the victims of a brand new kind of targeted attack. According to a report, two officers were patrolling near the park at around 11 p.m. one night when an "unauthorized drone" suddenly fell from the sky and struck one of them, a 40-year-old man. The officer suffered only a minor injury and did not need medical treatment, and the secretive suspect was down a drone.

Ride Sharing While one might get into an argument with their Uber driver over which way they're taking to their destination, rarely does the conflict ever get to the level it reached between a driver and his rider on W.T. Harris Boulevard in east Charlotte last week. The 58-year-old driver told police he got into a dispute with one of his riders as they exited the vehicle, but before they left, the rider pepper sprayed the driver then ran away. You'll probably want to sit the rest of this night out before getting back on the road.

Ride Sharing II Another argument between an Uber driver and a rider went the other way in southeast Charlotte, when a female driver ended up allegedly attacking her 22-year-old male rider. The driver effectively pulled a strong-arm robbery on the rider, if the accusations in the report are to be believed. According to the victim, the driver got out of her car after dropping him off at a Circle K on East Independence Boulevard, then grabbed him around the neck and pushed him up against the front door of the gas station. Then, the driver allegedly snatched the victim's iPhone and wallet from his hand and left the scene, never to be seen again.

All stories are pulled from police reports at CMPD headquarters. Suspects are innocent until proven guilty.

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