The Levittown man who allegedly beat up a Florida utility
worker outside an East Meadow restaurant pleaded not guilty 3rd degree
assault charges at his arraignment Tuesday.
Thomas Libretto, 34, of Levittown, was then released by the judge
without bail and issued a stay away order of protection for utility worker
John Applewhite, 34, of Florida. Libretto is due back in
court on Jan. 7, according to Newsday.
The altercation started when Libretto reportedly noticed Applewhite urinating
in the vicinity of his car in the parking lot of Texas Roadhouse in East Meadow
on Nov. 9. After a verbal altercation, Applewhite allegedly kicked gravel
into Libretto’s BMW, police said.
The two began fighting and Libretto punched Applewhite in
the face, breaking his nose and causing swelling to his eye, according to Nassau
County Police Inspector Kenneth Lack. The Huffington
Post later reported that Applewhite needed a plate in his face and a wire
in his jaw due to the severity of the assault.
The altercation was originally thought to have started
because of Applewhite’s employment as a utility worker. Applewhite, a 12-year
employee of Lakeland Electric, had come to Long Island to help repair power
following Hurricane Sandy.