Niskayuna Man Who Thinks He's Shia LaBeouf May Actually Be Shia LaBeouf

By Dodie Fingerton

Published November 24th, 2014

"Shia LeBeouf" in front of his home
in Niskayuna —© CC- Georges Biard

NISKAYUNA — Authorities are investigating the identity of a Niskayuna man who claims to be troubled actor Shia LaBeouf and will be executing a search warrant on his Church Street home.

State Police spokesman Walter Hutchensen said the probe’s ultimate goal is to prove whether the man is, in fact, the former Disney star-turned-Hollywood bad boy.

“Forensics will be working to secure hair and tissue samples,” Hutchensen said. “While the rest of our team will sweep the premises as part of an effort to gather evidence that could substantiate Shia's — err, the man's — claims.

“He looks a hell of a lot like him, I can tell you that much,” added Hutchensen.

When the 28-year-old man moved to the tony Schenectady County suburb over the summer, he told neighbors his relocation to Niskayuna was a continuation of the very same “meta-modernist performance art” that has puzzled the entertainment industry for the better part of a year.

LaBeouf made news in February when he walked out of a press conference for Nymphomaniac, quoting a statement made by French footballer Eric Cantona: "When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea."

Later that night, he arrived on the red carpet wearing a brown paper bag over his head with the words "I am not famous anymore" written on it.

Two days later, LaBeouf staged a six-day performance in a Los Angeles gallery entitled #IAMSORRY, in which he sat silently crying while wearing a tuxedo and a paper bag.

Then, on June 26, LaBeouf was charged with disorderly conduct and criminal trespass at New York's Studio 54, where he was reported to have been "acting disorderly, yelling and being loud." He refused to leave the theater, so police were called. A report of the incident stated LaBeouf used homophobic slurs and spat at arresting officers.

That LaBeouf would then decide to purchase an upscale home in Niskayuna makes perfect sense to many Hollywood insiders, who say the new celebrity trend of referring to full-on nervous breakdowns and drug-induced psychosis as “performance art” is gaining traction. Along with LaBeouf, Joaquin Phoenix and James Franco also seem to support the move, which could spell doom for the much-maligned “exhaustion” excuse that uninspired performers like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan have used for years.

Still, neighbors seemed reluctant to label the man claiming to be Shia LaBeouf “a menace.” Instead, they describe him as “a quiet guy who keeps to himself, and who maintains his property above and beyond the rules set forth by the governing neighborhood association.”

Hutchensen agreed, stating the individual was “cooperating fully.”

However, when asked what investigators were hoping to collect besides DNA evidence, Hutchensen remained tight-lipped, leading some to speculate the list included movie props, merchandise and/or photographic evidence that LaBeouf did in fact bang Megan Fox behind Brian Austin Green's back while filming Transformers.


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