Though there's certainly no such thing as a good reason to randomly attack and violently assault a total stranger, one man's apparent reason for being pummeled in New York was particularly strange. "While I was falling down the stairs, all I hear was 'This is because you look exactly like Shia LaBeouf,'" Mario Licato tellsGothamist of the Saturday attack. The LaBeouf look-alike, who briefly lost consciousness during the attack, even snapped a photo of his injuries:
Licato says, prior to the bizarre attack, his Saturday was decidedly chill. After meeting some friends for a quick lunch, Licato ended up on the F train alone en route to Pianos for a show. "I was walking up the stairs," Licato recalled to Gothamist. "I had my head down—there were people in front of me—just to make sure I wasn't going to fall." Licato was then met with a sudden fist to the face, knocking him down the stairs. After regaining consciousness, a couple who witnessed the attack helped him to his feet.
Though EMTs responded to the concerned couple's 911 call, Licato says they weren't exactly the warmest individuals. "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.'" Licato, in fact, was actually born and raised in New York. Licato, who works in advertising as an art director, says the LaBeouf comparisons have actually been a relatively frequent occurrence in his life, though never violent: "I've been stopped on the street before, at least 10 times."
The suspect, described as a "frat boy" in his mid-20s, reportedly remains at large. Police told Licato that subway surveillance footage should be useful in identifying and apprehending the attacker, though Gothamist notes that the suspect’s description is not even mentioned in the official police report. "I wanna thank the guy who randomly decided he need to hit me last night," Licato wrote on Instagram on Monday. The LaBeouf comparison, Licato says, is actually a tremendous compliment: "You boosted my self esteem bc he's p hot."