UPDATE: Levittown Man Arrested for Utility Worker Assault

Assault leaves out-of-state utility worker hospitalized.

Update, Nov. 14, 10:02 a.m.

Nassau County Police have said that the assault occurred as a result of a verbal argument at the restaurant and not because of Applewhite's employment as a utility worker.


A Levittown man was arrested Tuesday afternoon in connection with an assault that left an out-of-state utility worker hospitalized over the weekend.

According to police, Thomas Libretto, 34, was arrested at his residence around 4:45 p.m. following an investigation by the Nassau County Police Third Squad.

Police say that Libretto allegedly punched 34-year-old John Applewhite, of Tampa, Fla., in the face after approaching him in the Texas Roadhouse parking lot in East Meadow Friday night. After the assault, Libretto fled the scene in a dark-colored BMW sedan.

Applewhite, a 12-year employee of Lakeland Electric, had come to Long Island to help repair the mess left behind from Hurricane Sandy.

The Huffington Post has reported that Applewhite needed a plate in his face and a wire in his jaw due to the severity of the attack.

Libretto is being charged with assault in the third degree. He will appear at First District Court in Hempstead on Tuesday for arraignment.

schwipster November 14, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Please move away Blaise Datsun! We do not want you here. Let's not put a Sonic there because we all enjoy looking at an unused empty building that generates no tax revenue. You are the problem!
Blaise Datsun November 14, 2012 at 02:15 PM
As one of the few residents of East Meadow that actually knows where his kids are after 6pm, stops for stop signs in residential neighborhoods, knows his neighbors names and has never been arrested for assault I'd say I'm a model citizen.
ArtyMarty November 14, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Its also the LIPA union. They kept workers out for two days.
paul November 14, 2012 at 02:36 PM
To ArtyMarty, and others that have said the same thing: OK, here is the question???? If they are not union how would one know if they are actually a certified electrician, lineman, etc....????? Because they said so... ridiculous... Do you know how many fakes would sign up for the bucks and have no knowledge of the work that needs to be performed. Do you know how dangerous that would be...... Wow, there are such small minded thinkers out here.. So if in fact they turned away non union workers they did the correct thing 100 percent..
LEVITTOWN MOM November 14, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Levittrash????????????? Oh you must live in a very ritzy neighborhood, in a mansion. Oh wait. YOU LIVE IN A BASEMENT WITH CRICKETS. DONT TALK TRASH SWEETIE, WHEN YOU LIVE IN IT.
Matthew Hogan November 14, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Folks, Keep things civil. Thank you. -- Matthew Hogan Associate Regional Editor Nassau County
paul November 14, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Do we really know what caused the assault...???? Not mentioned.... Did they have a disagreement at perhaps the bar? Just asking...
mike overby November 14, 2012 at 03:42 PM
All u people are so quick to jump on the bandwagon.....im a lineman and im here to say that these things happen alot.lineman go out of town and work their butts off and go to the bar and drink.alot of these men are married to wives who dont like them drinking.the only time they get to cut loose is when they go out of town.who knows who started the problem.just because someone gets hurt or looses doesnt make them the victim.maybe he started it.maybe he mouthed off to the wrong person or even physically started it.ever think of that???? Just because he needed a plate in his face doesnt mean it was a brutal attack either.boxers and mma fighters have thaf happen all the time.your orbital bone is very easy to break.i hate how fast people are to condem someone and jump on the bandwagon.i dont know either of these people but i have an open mind. I live in the real world where the loser isnt always the victim......open your minds and remember that phrase innocent until proven guilty??????? The guy should ag least get a chance to defend himself before he is condemned.... .if i ever get in trouble it scares me to think i could get a jury full of people who view things in this manner.......
Andrew Tarpley November 14, 2012 at 03:42 PM
There was a second assault last night. Keep it up and they'll all go home and leave em in the dark!
Bryan November 14, 2012 at 03:49 PM
To Paul We r non union. We have nothing against the union. We work to help people an to get their electric on! We know we're lineman because we're in the field everyday we do this everyday we have apprenticeships as well as the unions. We have 3 ex union workers with us now. None of us care union or non. We wanna get the power restored an get home to our family! An no were not working. We got released today.
mario melendez November 14, 2012 at 03:51 PM
As a resident of South Central LA, where every block has its own gang, and we shoot each other over 5 dollar debt. We know for a fact not to assault our emergency personnel? You dont sock a fireman for not putting out the fire in your house because you were making meth that evening! You dont attack the EMT because they didnt save your friend that overdose? You dont retaliate against the police because they didnt prevent the guy from mugging you? Because we know how to appreciate HELP and compassion. As absurd as it sounds this guy that attacked that lineman should be sent to California for some real testorone testing! Our boys out here will teach him how to respect emergency personnel!!
Lisa Macko November 14, 2012 at 03:53 PM
If you want to assume that i live in a ritzy neighborhood, in a mansion ill take it.. i'll paint a picture for you too! It's a basement in a mansion, my bedroom is right outside my own private bowling lane, and pool.. i literally walk out of my room, dive right into the pool, come out the opposite side where im greeted by my private bowling lane, throw a few frames, and then go up the elevator to the main floor where my servers have my breakfast cooked and ready for me to enjoy.. dont worry my butler is pressing the clothes for the day
TOM RUSSO November 14, 2012 at 03:57 PM
this guy looks like a jersey shore punk...they should realy make an example out of him real tough guy..
Eric Hayes November 14, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Paul u think these guys steal trucks with major & obvious company logos on the door & just show up???They're not roofers that go door to door after a disaster & try & take peeps money .......& an electrician is a totally different profession from a Lineman!!!!
paul November 14, 2012 at 04:10 PM
OK, lineman. You know what I meant... ;o) Example: Just because a vehicle says Osh Kosh Electric in Wisconsin does that mean they are legit?????
paul November 14, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Are you Tessa from Florida? Do I know you....
yeahitzme November 14, 2012 at 04:30 PM
No matter what the issue was...still disgraceful..There is no acceptable reasoning or excuse for such violence..unless his life was in jeopardy- for which no information thus far has supported such a fact. Hoping justice is served rightfully in this unfortunate case.
Jay Roberson November 14, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Just drop him off with the first line crew u find. I'm sure they could handle it from there
Wendy November 14, 2012 at 04:48 PM
As the wife of a lineman I know and living in Jersey, I know NY is one place my husband would never go work on storm. This right here confirmed to me why he won't. This is only one story there are quite a few other attacks I've been told about that weren't in unending news. Bunch of animals over there. I personally think all the out of town linemen should pack their bags and leave the rest in the dark. As far as the non union being kept out, I don't blame them one bit. I wouldnt want my husband (who is a union journeyman lineman) up on a pole working with guys who aren't properly trained!!!
bobrock November 14, 2012 at 04:59 PM
from what i hear the guy was urinating out of his truck in the parking lot as his girlfriend was passing by and he got a bit angry .....thats the word on the street !
Willy Wilson November 14, 2012 at 05:28 PM
To Lisa...who used a rather broad brush to label all the residents of Levittown as Levitrash...Every town across America has people that are scumbags..Your town has them too...and unless u were there the night of the assault..who r you or anybody to comment on what actually happened..as the saying goes...It is better to keep ur mouth shut and APPEAR to be stupid...than it is to open it..and remove all doubt.
Carol moeller November 14, 2012 at 06:13 PM
I am so happy that the person who punched the utility worker is under arrest. What a disgusting human being. I hope he does jail time.
schwipster November 14, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Proud of ya!
Matthew Hogan November 14, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Updated story here, folks: http://eastmeadow.patch.com/articles/police-utility-worker-urinated-near-defendant-s-car-prior-to-assault
Natalie November 14, 2012 at 07:26 PM
As a Linewife, I do know that going out on storm restoration is a very dangerous job in itself for our Lineman. You are not only dealing with dangerous conditions but also with a frustrated and hostile public. They are considered to be a part of the first response team so people should try to show them the same respect they would to our Police, Firemen, etc.
Jamie Hill November 14, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Really! Mike Overby Really?! Have u seen the pictures of this guy?! The victim has no markings that he even was able to defend himself! I'm a lineman and am completely appalled by you taking up for this brothers attacker. Have you ever not encountered the public in your career or what?! I hope that I never have to rely on someone like you to have my back. The man was attacked, totally unprovoked! End of story!
mike overby November 15, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Read the update.....hard to believe huh....lineman pisses on guys bmw then kicks rocks at it after the " attacker" confronted hkm about it....real story seems to be coming out....all u lynchers might want to put your ropes away for a minute......
marianne krause November 15, 2012 at 03:28 AM
@overby did you read article? near not on kicked at not on . maybe those scuffles you where in left you a bit damaged
patricia November 15, 2012 at 05:26 AM
We do not know the whole story...I'm sure there was drinking involved and it's unfortunate someone got hurt. But is anyone else wondering why the lineman would fly or drive back to Florida .... then go to the hospital ?
LW November 19, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Oh Wendy seriously?? LOL he's not a real lineman then. My goodness the union guys are paid over $100 an hour.. take it or leave it. stop whining. Your husband is free to work the "southern" rate. lol


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