A lineman from central Florida who was  volunteering in Long Island to help restore power in the storm-ravaged area was  viciously attacked by a stranger who was apparently furious that there was still  no power in the region.

John Applewhite, 34, had travelled to East  Hempstead, Long Island from his home in Lakeland with 24 other electrical  workers, and had just finished a 16-hour shift when a man yelled at him from  across a parking lot.

Mr Applewhite said that the suspect got out  of his black BMW, walked toward him, and punched him once in the face, breaking  his jaw and fracturing several other bones in his face.

The electrical worker said that he had just  finished a gruelling shift helping out the Long Island Power Authority and was  heading to dinner at the Texas Roadhouse when a man in a BMW across the parking  lot began yelling at him.

According to the Nassau County Police  Department, the man parked his car and walked toward Mr Applewhite and fellow  lineman John Barefoot.

Thinking the man had a question about power  restoration, Mr Applewhite headed in the direction of the man, while Mr Barefoot  stayed by the service vehicle.

‘Just as I got within arm’s reach, he decked  me,’ Mr Applewhite told WTSP.  The single punch broke his jaw, his  cheekbone, and other facial bones. He also suffered a black eye.

When Mr Barefoot tried to intervene, the  suspect allegedly bit him on the finger and then ran back to his BMW, driving  away.

Mr Applewhite was rushed to Nassau Medical  Center, but he was eventually flown back to Tampa.

The lineman said that his law has to be wired  shut, and he faces reconstructive surgery to repair the broken bones in his  face.

A photograph following the attack shows the  lineman’s face badly swollen on the left side.

Despite the brutality of the attack, Mr  Applewhite said that he still holds a good impression of the town, according  to ABC Action News.

‘It was one heck of a punch,’ he told the  station. ‘If nothing else, I would like to shake the guy’s hand. He got a heck  of a jab.’

Mr Applewhite’s sister, Mary Anne, told WTSP  that she is saddened by the attack. ‘John is such a sweet person and he  certainly didn’t deserve this,’ she said, noting the difficulty her brother will  face during the upcoming holidays.

But his father, Morris Applewhite, had a more  practical solution. ‘If he has his jaw wired shut, we will just feed him through  a straw, and he’ll enjoy it,’ he said.

Nassau County police have not yet named a  suspect in a case, but are reviewing surveillance video from the parking  lot.

Parts of Long Island were hard-hit by last  month’s Superstorm Sandy, flooding homes, and leaving thousands without heat and  power.

Disaster relief organizations like FEMA and  the National Guard have been sent in, but many in the hardest-hit areas remain  without power.

Volunteer workers like Mr Applewhite have  been working with LIPA to help customers still stuck in the dark.

Source: The Daily Mail


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