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Utility worker attacked by LIPA customer upset with Sandy response

A utility worker from Florida was attacked outside a Long Island restaurant after working a 16-hour day by a power customer who was apparently upset with the progress of power restoration in the area, MyFoxNY.com reported.

SUMMARY

  • Utility worker from Florida attacked by power customer upset about Sandy recovery.
  • Will require reconstructive surgery on face
  • A co-worker was also bit during the attack

 

John Applewhite, 34, who works for a Tampa-area power company, is recovering from a broken jaw. He was on Long Island helping the local utility Long Island Power Authority to restore electricity to the area.

He had gone to a restaurant in East Hempstead on Friday night after working a 16-hour day helping LIPA restore power after Sandy.

Applewhite says a man in a black BMW drove up and asked about the power restoration.

"He gave me no signs of anything aggressive.  He was in a nice vehicle, dressed fairly nice from what I could tell," Applewhite says.

'I'm not gonna let it get me down, I enjoy what I do and I'm not gonna let one person spoil that for me, I enjoy helping people out.'

- John Applewhite who works for a Tampa-area power company

The man jumped out of his car.

"Just as soon as I got within arm's reach of him, he decked me," Applewhite says.

A co-worker rushed to help Applewhite.  That man ended up with a bite wound on his hand from the attacker.

Both out-of-state power workers were treated at Nassau Medical Center before heading back to Florida.

Applewhite has a cracked cheekbone and was to have reconstructive surgery on his face.

"I'm not gonna let it get me down, I enjoy what I do and I'm not gonna let one person spoil that for me, I enjoy helping people out," Applewhite says.

The man jumped back in his car and drove off after the attack. He has not been caught.  Nassau County police are still investigating.

Click for more from MyFoxNY.com

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