A Florida electrical worker was in New York to help fix power line damage due to Hurricane Sandy when he was brutally attacked on Friday. John Applewhite, from Lakeland Electric, was thrown to the ground and beaten severely outside of a Long Island restaurant where he was getting out of his utility truck. Hundreds of out of state workers have been brought in by local power companies in order to help restore power to the millions who lost it during Hurricane Sandy.
Police said that Applewhite was going to the East Hempstead restaurant right after he finished a thirteen hour shift on Friday. He was at the restaurant to get dinner with some coworkers.
Applewhite said in a statement that, when he got out of his utility truck, a man got out of a black BMW and approached him.
Applewhite told WTSP in Tampa from his room at Lakeland Regional Medical Center:
“He met me halfway between my truck and his vehicle and just as I got within arm’s reach, he decked me. They’re going to put a plate in my face and wire my jaw. At least three surgeons will do work on me.”
Applewhite was flown back to Florida Saturday with a black eye, broken jaw, and several fractures.
Neither Applewhite nor his 24 coworkers have any idea why the man would want to assault him. His attacker fled the scene immediately after the savage beating. Police are searching for him
Applewhite told WFTV:
“I didn’t know what his intentions were. 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.”
Applewhite’s sister Mary Anne told the news station that she was furious, as was the rest of his family, that such a generous act of kindness like Applewhite’s would be met with such savagery.
May Anne said:
“I was devastated when I got the call. John is such a sweet person and he certainly didn’t deserve this.”
Police have little to go on but are reviewing the surveillance tapes from the area in hopes of locating the perpetrator.
Watch an interview with Applewhite taken after the beating.