How Many Times Has Shia Labeouf Been Arrested?

Disney child stars getting into legal trouble as adults is certainly nothing new. From "The Suite Life on Deck" star Debby Ryan pleading guilty to a DUI to "Lizzy McGuire" fan favorite Lalaine getting busted for possession of crystal methampethamine, there's certainly a lot of legal money coming from the former child stars of this popular studio (via Seventeen). And while other networks and television studios have certainly had their fair share of former child star controversy (anyone remember Todd Bridges and the late Dana Plato from "Diff'rent Strokes?"), the child actors and actresses from Disney seem to get a lot more special attention. Maybe it's because of the studio's push for family oriented content that makes their stars' arrests seem more shocking, or maybe because of the sheer number of them that seem to still make headlines. But no matter the reason, every arrest of a former Disney star is tabloid fodder.

No one former Disney actor has generated a level of bad press on a par with Shia Labeouf. Worse, the former "Even Stevens" star has more than one arrest under his belt in his lifetime.

Lebeouf's first arrest was at age nine

In their 2015 book "Prison Ramen," authors Clifton Collins and Gustavo "Goose" Alvarez amassed a collection of jailhouse stories from a combination of everyday folks who have been locked up and from well-known stars. Each chapter begins with a ramen noodle recipe that was crafted in a jail or prison, and is followed by an essay penned by someone who was incarcerated. The names Danny Trejo, Slash, and Taryn Manning are among the essayists (via Good Reads).  

Labeouf himself wrote one essay in the book, titled "Error Breeds Sense," in which he details the events behind five of his arrests. He recalls his first arrest at age 9, when he was detained for six hours after being taken away by police officers for stealing a pair of Nike Cortez shoes (per Yahoo Entertainment). His second brush with the law happened when he was 11, after he attempted to shoplift a Gameboy Pokémon from a local K-Mart. 

His acting career launched at age 12, maybe keeping Labeouf too busy to get into too much trouble. But problems with the law continued for the actor at the age of 20, when he was arrested for the third time. It was for a more serious offense than shoplifting from a department store. He was thrown in jail for two days after trying to stab a neighbor. 

Labeouf was once arrested at a Walgreens

The fourth arrest came after a drunken trip to a Walgreens in Chicago. After refusing to leave the retail store, employees called the police, who arrested the actor for trespassing. Fortunately for Labeouf, the drug store giant declined to press charges (per Fox News). Shortly after this event, he was cited for unlawfully smoking on a sidewalk in Burbank, California. This should have only been a fine, but he was arrested for failing to appear in court in early 2008.

In July of that year, Labeouf was arrested for the sixth time, cited for a DUI after being involved in an early-morning crash. Though the wreck itself wasn't the actor's fault, he was charged for being over the legal limit (via Page Six). 

Three years went by without any incidents for Labeouf. But in 2011, legal problems began to plague him once more. That year, he and another man got into a fistfight at Mad Bull's Tavern in Sherman Oaks, California. Though he was handcuffed and questioned, he was almost immediately released at the scene without being arrested. 

In a highly publicized arrest in 2014, Labeouf was put into handcuffs during a Broadway performance of "Cabaret." Intoxicated during the show, the actor was smoking cigarettes in the theater and yelling obscenities at the performers. After his arrest, he had to be fitted with a muzzle to keep him from spitting at the police officers. He was given six months' probation for this incident and ordered to go to rehab.

He was arrested at an art installment in 2017

Labeouf's legal problems continued in 2015 when he was arrested for public intoxication. Page Six reports that the actor was attending a performance of "Austin City Limits" when he stepped outside to smoke a cigarette and began to act unruly. Police were called and placed Labeouf under arrest.

In January of 2017, Labeouf was arrested for assault after he grabbed a man's scarf and scratched his face at an art installment in New York City. Charges were later dropped. 

Later in 2017, he was placed under arrest in Savannah, Georgia for disorderly conduct and public intoxication. After being refused a cigarette by someone on the street, Labeouf began to scream and yell obscenities. When he was told to leave the area by the police officers that were called to the scene, he refused. After running into his nearby hotel, he was arrested and charged.

Labeouf has been arrested a total of 11 times

Finally, in 2020 Labeouf was arrested and charged with one count of misdemeanor battery and one count of misdemeanor theft (via Los Angeles Times). After a verbal altercation with another man took a bad turn and became physical, Labeouf snatched the man's hat and ran away with it. This marks the 11th and (perhaps) final time the star was arrested. NBC News reports that the criminal complaint charged that Labeouf "willfully and unlawfully used force upon a man named Tyler Murphy and stole his hat."

Labeouf has attributed many of his brushes with the law to his struggle to stay sober. After he was arrested in Georgia in 2017, Page Six reported that the actor stated, "I am actively taking steps toward securing my sobriety and hope I can be forgiven for my mistakes."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).