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Man arrested in Long Island electrical worker beating

November 14, 2012 7:40:50 AM PST
Police on Long Island have arrested a man who they say attacked an electrical worker outside an East Meadow restaurant last week.

Police say 34-year-old Thomas Libretto was arrested outside his Levittown home. He was charged with third-degree assault, issued an appearance ticket and will be arraigned November 27.

Detectives have determined the victim, 34-year-old John Applewhite, was urinating on his own utility truck in the parking lot of the Texas Roadhouse restaurant on Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow last Friday.

Authorities say Libretto was walking past him and became offended because he with his girlfriend. Words were exchanged between the two, and the dispute turned physical.

Detectives do not believe Applewhite's employment played any role in the dispute.

Applewhite's father, Morris Applewhite, said his son had just locked up his company vehicle when the suspect hollered at him. John Applewhite reportedly thought the man was asking about his power, since many people had been stopping John and his coworkers on the street to ask how things were going.

After the altercation began, Applewhite's coworker raced over and pulled the man off of him. Libretto allegedly bit that worker in the finger, sending him to the hospital as well.

Applewhite sustained a broken jaw and a broken cheekbone, and had swelling around his face.

He has worked for Florida-based Lakeland Electric for 12 years and was on Long Island with a crew of 24 to help LIPA restore power. He has since returned home to Florida.

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