A New York City man was reportedly sucker-punched and knocked unconscious last weekend because he closely resembles actor and performance artist Shia LaBeouf.
According to Gothamist, 26-year-old Mario Licato was exiting a subway station on his way to a concert on Manhattan’s Lower East Side when he was suddenly struck in the face by an unknown assailant.
“I didn’t even see the guy,” Licato told the outlet. “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!'”
Licato, who was climbing the stairs at an F train subway station when he was hit, said he fell all the way down to the foot of the stairs and lost consciousness. When he came to, a couple helped him flag down an ambulance and corroborated what the attacker had said just before he struck.
Licato posted a photo of his bruised face to Instagram on Monday:
“I wanna thank the guy who randomly decided he needed to hit me last night. ‘this happened bc you look exactly like Shia labeouf,'” Licato captioned the photo. “Well sir you boosted my self esteem bc he’s p hot.”
The man told Gothamist he had been stopped “at least 10 times” in his life for his apparent physical resemblance to the 29-year-old Transformers star, but he said he simply couldn’t understand what the actor had done to his assailant to merit such a vicious punch.
“What did Shia LaBeouf do to him that he punched somebody that looks like him?” Licato said. “He must have did something so mean. Did he steal his girlfriend? Did he just see his last performance art piece?”
Police will reportedly use surveillance footage from the subway station to catch the culprit, but so far, he remains at large.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum.