A New York City man was reportedly physically assaulted by a stranger on the street due to his passing resemblance to actor Shia LaBeouf, according to a report in Gothamist. Mario Licato says he was exiting the Delancey Street F train station on Manhattan’s Lower East Side at around 8 PM on Saturday when he was unexpectedly punched in his LaBeouf-esque face and knocked briefly unconscious. “I was walking up the stairs,” Licato explains to Gothamist. “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!’” Just to put a fine point on this, the unknown assailant—whom witnesses describe as a muscular 6-foot-tall bro type in his mid-20s—did not think he was punching the the 29-year-old actor. He was, by his own parting words, punishing a person for looking similar to Transformers: Dark of the Moon star.
After regaining consciousness at the bottom of the stairs, his face bloodied and his glasses broken in half, Licato turned to a couple who had rushed to his aid in order to confirm the absurdity of the event. “I was so confused,” he recalls. “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 they were like, ‘Nope. That’s exactly what he said as he was running away from you.’”
The New York-born advertising art director says that he has been mistaken for LaBeouf in the past and has been stopped on the street a number of times, though this is the first time such an encounter has come to violence. “I want to know what Shia LaBeouf did to him,” Licato told Gothamist. “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?” Sounds like he just answered his own question.
Thanks to commenter Techzero for the tip.