Alleged incident in NYC, six months ago.

Rapper Busta Rhymes has been sued by a disgruntled fan who says the artist assaulted him after he asked for an autograph.

In a civil suit made public yesterday (March 1) in Manhattan Supreme Court, Melvin Smith, 37, says the 33-year-old rapper and his bodyguard Troy Green beat him with their "hands and fists for no rhyme or reason," Smith's lawyer said.

The incident took place at a sandwich shop near New York's City Hall about six months ago, according to lawyer Bruce Regenstreich. Smith has been unable to work at his job as handyman because of neck and back injuries he sustained, Regenstreich said, adding that Smith also suffered a cut near his eye that required four stitches.

"My client was not aggressive in seeking the autograph," the lawyer said. "Melvin went in to get an autograph and got a knuckle sandwich instead."

Smith is seeking unspecified damages against the bodyguard and the rapper, whose real name is Trevor Smith.

Regenstreich is not the only person interested in meeting with Rhymes. New York police want to interview the rapper about the shooting death last month of his 29-year-old security guard, Israel Ramirez. Ramirez was killed outside a Brooklyn studio where Rhymes was recording a music video.