A Florida electrical worker who came to New York to help after Hurricane Sandy was beaten to a pulp in the neighborhood where he was trying to restore power.
John Applewhite, a 34-year-old lineman for Lakeland Electric, was attacked as he got out of his utility truck outside a restaurant in East Hempstead, N.Y. on Friday, police said.
Applewhite had just finished working a 13-hour shift and was getting dinner with coworkers when another man got out of a black BMW and approached him, he said.
“He met me halfway between my truck and his vehicle and just as I got within arm’s reach, he decked me,” Applewhite told WTSP in Tampa.
Applewhite was flown back to Florida Saturday with a black eye, broken jaw and several fractures. He’s confined to a hospital bed and awaiting surgery.
“They’re going to put a plate in my face and wire my jaw,” he said from Lakeland Regional Medical Center. “At least three surgeons will do work on me.”
Applewhite, who was in New York with 24 coworkers, says he has no idea why he was targeted, and that his attacker fled the scene.
“I didn’t know what his intentions were,” Applewhite told WFTV. “I didn’t know if I was going to be robbed or if he was just upset. He was in a nice car, so I kind of let my guard down. It’s unfortunate, it really is.”
More @ NY Daily News