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Lakeland Electric worker beaten in New York | News

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Lakeland Electric worker beaten in New York

LAKELAND, Florida -- A broken jaw, a busted cheekbone, and facial fractures -- that's the thanks John Applewhite got for trying to help.

John is a lineman for Lakeland Electric. He went to New York state with 24 co-workers to help reconnect the power for people who were battered by Sandy. Instead, John got battered by a stranger.

SEE ALSO: Bay area crews helping in Northeast face wind, snow

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"He met me halfway between my truck and his vehicle, and just as I got within arm's reach, he decked me," said John Applewhite.

Applewhite doesn't know why he was attacked or by whom. Police say its was a guy in a black BMW who took off after the assault.

John's injuries were so severe he was flown back to Tampa, and is now at Lakeland Regional Medical Center confined to a hospital bed. His recovery will be extensive, and surgery is on the list.

"They're going to put a plate in my face and wire my jaw.  At least three surgeons will do work on me," said John.

John's family is by his bedside. They cant believe the number of tubes, wires, and medications he has to endure. His family says the attack was a gross violation of his person and his kind heart.

"I was devastated when I got the call. John is such a sweet person and he certainly didn't deserve this, what happened to him," said John's sister, Mary Anne.

Now, John and his family will have to deal with his jaw wired shut for the holidays, but they say he will deal with that limitation as well.

"If he has his jaw wired shut, we will just feed him through a straw, and he'll enjoy it, " said John's father, Morris Applewhite.


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