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Police: Details Emerged From East Meadow Assault

Victim assaulted for urinating near defendant’s car

Nassau County Police Department’s Third Squad has reported an arrest for an assault that occurred in the parking lot at 2571 Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow on Nov. 9.

According to the initial police report, John Applewhite, a 34-year-old utility worker who was on assignment from Florida, said he was approached by an unknown subject, who punched him in the face and then fled in a dark colored BMW.

After further investigation and information, Nassau County Police Inspector Kenneth Lack said that Applewhite was urinating in the parking lot of Texas Roadhouse in East Meadow, in the vicinity of defendant Thomas Libretto’s vehicle when the altercation began. Lack said the public urination sparked a verbal altercation, which then led to Applewhite kicking gravel toward Libretto’s vehicle, causing no damage.

Lack said it was then that Libretto punched Applewhite, who sustained a broken nose, and swelling and bruising of his left eye. He was transported to Nassau University Medical Center (NUMC) where he was treated and released.

Lack dispelled rumors that the assault was an attack on Applewhite for being a utility worker. Lack said Libretto did not file cross charges, or report initially that he was assaulted. “If he [Libretto] would have stayed at the scene, helped us with the investigating, it would have been easier for us to determine whether this was a cross complaint.” Police said that Applewhite was not re-interviewed since the initial complaint on Nov. 9; he has since returned to Florida.

Libretto, 34, of Levittown, was arrested on Nov. 13 at his home, following an investigation. He is charged with third degree assault, and is scheduled to appear at First District Court in Hempstead on Nov. 27.