A 34-year-old utility worker from Tampa, Florida working to restore power in Long Island after Superstorm Sandy, was brutally attacked Friday.
The Ledger, a Florida newspaper, reports John Applewhite of Lakeland Electric was walking into an East Meadow restaurant after working a 16-hour shift, when an unknown man driving a BMW suddenly starting yelling at him and a fellow lineman.
The man then got out of the car and assaulted him.
"He met me halfway between my truck and his vehicle, and just as I got within arm's reach, he decked me," said Applewhite. "They're going to put a plate in my face and wire my jaw. At least three surgeons will do work on me."
Following Sandy, Applewhite was among 24 workers from Florida who came to New York to help bring back power to the area ravaged by the storm.
He was flown back to Florida on Saturday where he will undergo surgery.
Applewhite said he did not know who attacked him, nor did he know the motive behind the vicious assault.
Applewhite's sister Mary Anne said, "I was devastated when I got the call. John is such a sweet person and he certainly didn’t deserve this.”
Long Island residents have voiced their growing frustration at Long Island Power Authority due to widespread power outages still crippling the area.
The company has restored power to more than 1.1 million homes, but as of Tuesday morning, 19,000 customers remain in the dark.