LOS ANGELES — When someone wins an award, it's customary to thank their family, friends and the people who helped them achieve success.
Seldom do they thank the police officer who arrested them.
But that's what actor Shia LaBeouf did Sunday night when he accepted the screenwriting prize at the Hollywood Film Awards.
"I want to thank the police officer who arrested me in Georgia for changing my life," LaBeouf said over laughter from the audience.
The actor, who became a household name nearly 20 years ago when he starred in the Disney television series "Even Stevens," was arrested for public drunkenness in July 2017 while filming a movie in Savannah.
"According to Savannah police, LaBeouf tried to bum a cigarette from a bystander and a Savannah police officer in City Market," the AJC reported in 2017. "When neither the officer nor the bystander would give him one, he started cursing and hurling vulgarities in front of other people at the popular tourist destination. The officer told LaBeouf to leave, but LaBeouf got ‘aggressive' with the officer, according to police. The officer tried to arrest LaBeouf, but LaBeouf turned around and ran into a hotel lobby. Police chased him and arrested him there."
LaBeouf received one year probation, and was ordered to pay $2,680 in fines and fees, perform 100 hours of community service, enroll in anger management counseling, and complete a drug and alcohol evaluation.
It was during rehab after this incident that he wrote the screenplay for "Honey Boy," which is based on LaBeouf's life as a child actor and the pitfalls that can come with that. The actor plays his own father in the movie.
The Savannah Police Department acknowledged LaBeouf's speech on Facebook.
LaBeouf, who is now sober, also thanked his therapist and his sponsor "for saving my life," and his parents "for giving me life."
© 2020 Cox Media Group