Don’t bother telling 360i senior art director Mario Licato that he looks like professional douche Shia LaBeouf…he’s heard it all before. As he told Gothamist earlier this week, “I’ve been stopped on the street before, at least 10 times in my life.”
Last weekend, Licato got sucker-punched by a (possibly) bridge-and-tunnel bro simply because he resembled the actor a little too much for that other dude’s comfort. 360i copywriter Megan Adamson-Jackes documented the before and after, all images courtesy of her and Licato himself.
Seems the victim was walking up the stairs at the Delancey Street F train when a guy moving into the station connected fist-to-face, breaking his glasses in half and knocking him all the way back down the stairwell before saying, “This is because you look exactly like Shia LaBeouf!”
He never got a look at his attacker, who sources describe as “HUGE” while noting that “mario is literally 5’7″ and slim, plus you’re not supposed to hit people with glasses.” We like that the guy simply threw the punch, connected and continued on his way to the train. (Alcohol may or may not have been involved in this incident as Licato was drinking Tecate before it happened. We choose to imagine it went something like this. Also, he doesn’t like cats!)
AND IT KEEPS GOING: the EMT who responded to a witness’s 911 call told Licato, “Welcome to New York, buddy.” This was offensive not because it’s an assholish thing to say but because he was born and raised in the city.
The story was so surreal that everyone rushed to cover it. Here’s CBS interviewing Licato on the scene.
As the news went semi-viral over the last couple of days, the real LaBeouf got Licato’s work number (which he claims not to know himself) and the two “played phone tag.” LaBeouf then commented on Licato’s Instagram account yesterday to get his attention, writing: “left you a message on your work phone. Feel better G.”
From Cosmopolitan, the voicemail went something like this:
“Aw, man. That sucks. I’m so sorry. But I get it. It’s happened to me before. I don’t know. I wish I was in New York. I’d come bring you soup.”
Wait. Did Shia LaBeouf claim that he’s been punched in the past for looking like himself??
The best way to deal with trauma is to make light of it. As Licato wrote on his Instagram account the following day, “I wanna thank the guy who randomly decided he needed to hit me last night. ‘this happened bc you look exactly like Shia labeouf’. Well sir you boosted my self esteem bc he’s p hot,” peace sign emoji.
According to Adamson-Jackes, the pair later managed to get the actor on the phone. Here’s Licato talking to his less famous lookalike.
No word on how that conversation went.
So yeah, he does look a good bit like Shia LaBeouf. We almost feel sorry for him. His partner says he’s a little tired of talking about the whole thing, but we really had to bring it up again because it is now our favorite story of the past week…and we hadn’t heard anything about it before today because we never check Facebook.
This is what happens when finance bros gentrify the Lower East Side. Don’t say you didn’t see it coming.