Actor, filmmaker and performance artist Shia LaBeouf, known for his work in feature films including “Disturbia” and, to younger audiences, for his run as Louis Stevens on the Disney Channel show “Even Stevens” in the early 2000s, was arrested this morning in New York, CNN reports.
LaBeouf was charged with misdemeanor assault and a harassment violation after he allegedly got into a scrap at his anti-Trump art installation, the story reports. LaBeouf, 30, was later released.
“LaBeouf and a 25-year-old anti-Trump protester got into a verbal exchange in front of the Museum of the Moving Image, and then police say LaBeouf pulled on the man’s scarf, scratching his face while doing so,” CNN reports, citing NYPD spokesman Sgt. Thomas Antonetti.
“LaBeouf is planning to protest President Trump for the next four years with an art exhibit that will run continuously outside the museum,” the report adds. “The installation consists of a white wall with the words ‘HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US’ on it and a camera beneath the words. LaBeouf has invited the public to participate by saying the phrase into the camera, which streams live.”
The report notes that LaBeouf’s arrest was apparently captured on the live-stream.
Subsequent reports have suggested that LaBeouf was provoked by anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi activists.
USA Today reports: “Since the start of the project, Trump supporters and neo-Nazis have mounted a campaign against LaBeouf online, plotting how to disrupt the exhibit via 4chan’s politically active message board /pol/ and other private threads, Buzzfeed reports.”
The USA Today report also notes that “the most disturbing protests have involved Nazi-referencing demonstrations. On Sunday, a man approached LaBeouf and said ‘1488,’ a neo-Nazi slogan.”
LaBeouf has a history of confrontations, controversies and legal hassles, reportedly including a 2005 arrest on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon; a misdemeanor arrest in 2007 on a criminal trespassing charge, which was later dropped; a misdemeanor drunken driving arrest in 2008; an alleged altercation in Sherman Oaks, Calif., in 2011; and a disorderly conduct situation at New York’s Studio 54 in 2014 in which LaBeouf was accused of spitting at arresting officers.
Shia LaBeouf art installation (Twitter)