A Shia LaBeouf lookalike was sucker punched and knocked unconscious near a New York subway last Saturday for the most absurd of reasons. According to a report by the Gothamist, the man identified as Mario Licato was punched, without any warning, on the face by an unknown man who shouted at Licato saying, “This is because you look exactly like Shia LaBeouf!”
The incident happened last weekend after Mario was coming back after spending a good time with his friends. At around 8 p.m., he boarded a train to catch a show at Pianos on the Lower East Side. When he got down the train at Delancey Street, little did he know he would be punched and left unconscious by a stranger soon. All Mario recalls is that that punch caused him to fall down the flight of stairs, knocking him unconscious.
This man got knocked out for simply LOOKING like Shia Lebouf..it is not safe in these streets bearded white men pic.twitter.com/02Dhdo3lms
— Man (@boogietweets) April 26, 2016
Mario recounts the incident,
“I was walking up the stairs. I had my head down—there were people in front of me—just to make sure I wasn’t going to fall.I didn’t even see the guy. I just see his fist coming towards me. It knocked me, and while I was falling down the stairs, all I hear was, “This is because you look exactly like Shia LaBeouf!”
Mario, who wears glasses, tells that his face was covered in blood and that his glasses had broken in half. He also recalls being asked by a couple if he knew the attacker, who has been described as a man who seemed to be in his mid 20s, standing around six foot three. The man was a well-built individual whom Licato says he has never met before. According to eyewitnesses, the man continued walking after hitting Locato, boarded a train, and vanished into the crowd.
“I was so confused. I was even more confused because I got up and I was like, am I crazy or did I hear him say, ‘This is because you look like Shia LaBeouf?’ And [the couple] were like, “Nope. That’s exactly what he said as he was running away from you.”
After the incident, the couple dialed 911 and helped an injured Licato walk up the stairs where they waited for an ambulance to arrive. While an ambulance did arrive in minutes, Mario wasn’t exactly comforted by what the emergency technicians said to him.
“They got out of the car and the first EMT guy, while I’m gushing blood from my face, with my broken glasses, just says, ‘Welcome to New York, buddy.’ My response was ‘Well, f**k you, I’m born and raised here.’ I was like, ‘Are you kidding me? You’re standing in front of somebody who’s bleeding out of their face and that’s your first response?’”
Mario was checked for a concussion and was found to be okay. He did end up with a few stitches above his eyebrow. When cops arrived, Mario told them about the Shia LaBeouf bit. He also said that the EMT did not wait for the cops to arrive as EMT’s are supposed to do. The cops investigated for an hour, asking eyewitnesses for any clue on the person who had hit him. They have no leads as yet. The entire process took over an hour after which Licato took a cab back home wondering if being a Shia LaBeouf lookalike is really such a bad thing.
While Licato does not use his similarity with Shia LaBeouf to make money or do appearances, he has been, on several occasions, stopped by people who mistook him for the star. When asked if he has been stopped by people who thought he was LaBeouf, he recalls,
“So many times. That’s why I knew I wasn’t that crazy. I got it three years ago. I’ve been stopped on the street before, at least 10 times in my life.”
While all his previous experiences as a Shia LaBeouf lookalike were largely pleasant, this attack is deeply perplexing.
“I wanna know what Shia LaBeouf did to him,” Licato says. “What did Shia LaBeouf do to him that he punched somebody that looks like him? He must have did something so mean. Did he steal his girlfriend? Did he just see his last performance art piece?”
[Photo by Evan Agostini/InvisionAP]