NY utility worker punched by man upset by lack of power


Residents continue their clean up efforts in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy on November 9, 2012 in Merrick, New York.



One Long Island resident upset with the slow progress of restoring power after superstorm Sandy took out his anger on a visiting utility worker. 

John Applewhite, 34, told police was punched in the face while outside of a restaurant in East Meadow, NY, reports NBC New York. 

Applewhite had just finished working a 16-hour day when a well dressed man in a BMW started yelling at him and another worker. 

"I thought he may have been asking about his power," Applewhite said.

The attacker parked the car, got out and punched Applewhite in the face and possibly hit him with an object. The man then fled in the BMW.

"There is always a bad apple," Applewhite told The Lakeland Ledger. "For the most part these people were great and they really treated us with respect."

According to Fox News, a co-worker suffered a bite wound to his hand after he rushed in to help Applewhite. 

Applewhite reportedly has a cracked cheekbone and will need to have reconstructive surgery on his face. Both workers were treated at Nassau Medical Center.

Applewhite, from Lakeland, Florida, was working temporarily on Long Island helping to restore electricity to the area after Sandy. 

He is now heading home to Florida after the attack. 

"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 said.

The Long Island Power Authority is coming under increasing criticism from residents who are still without power since the storm hit two weeks ago. The utility has already restored electricity to more than 1.1 million homes and businesses but about 14,000 are still without power. 

An additional 38,000 are unable to be restored because of lingering flood damage to their homes, reports NBC New York.