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