This past weekend at first seemed just like any weekend for Mario Licato, having met some friends for lunch only to go visit a buddy in Cobble Hill that afternoon.  Yet later that night, when he was walking up the stairs from the Delancey Street station on the Lower East Side, he was punched by somebody and fell down the stairs.  After the random attack, the assailant shouted to Licato “this is because you look exactly like Shia LaBeouf!”.  Licato then lost his consciousness before a couple rushed to his aid.

The couple described Licato’s attacker as in his mid-20s, over 6 feet tall and muscular, a typical “frat boy” type.  After punching Licato, he kept walking downstairs and then boarded a train.  As far as Licato knows, he doesn’t know the guy.  Yet more than anything else, Licato doesn’t look exactly like Shia LaBeouf!  The couple called 911 and helped Licato up the stairs to the sidewalk to wait for an ambulance.  When the ambulance first arrived, however, their reaction was less than friendly; the EMT looked at Licato with his broken glasses and blood gushing from his face and simply said, “welcome to New York, buddy”.  They told Licato, a native New Yorker, that he just needed a butterfly bandage for his eyebrow and left, not waiting for the police to arrive as EMTs are required to do.

Licato works as an art director in advertising; although his bruises are constantly changing color and he’s developed numbness in his left nostril, he couldn’t get out of working a shoot on Monday.  The police said they would look into the EMTs’ shirking of duty, but it wasn’t mentioned in the police report.  While the assailant’s physical description was lacking, the police are confident that they’ll be able to pull surveillance videos from the subway station and find out who it was.

While I personally don’t see the resemblance between Licato and Shia LaBeouf, this is apparently not the first time that people have commented on their similar appearance.  According to Licato, that was why he knew that he wasn’t crazy when he heard somebody say “this is because you look exactly like Shia LaBeouf” after punching him in the face.