The Levittown man who was arrested Tuesday for assaulting an out-of-state utility worker over the weekend may not have been completely at fault, police said at a press briefing Wednesday morning.
Nassau County Police Inspector Kenneth Lack said that the altercation between the two started when the defendant, 34-year-old Thomas Libretto, noticed the worker, 34-year-old John Applewhite, urinating in the vicinity of his car in the parking lot of Texas Roadhouse in East Meadow.
Police said the alleged urination started a verbal altercation between the two and led to Applewhite kicking gravel into Libretto's car. Lack said that Libretto then punched Applewhite in the face, breaking his nose and causing swelling to his eye.
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 assault."The proper procedure would have been to call the police," Lack said of Libretto's actions following the verbal altercation.
Nassau County Police arrested Libretto at his home Tuesday. He is being charged with assault in the third degree.
Lack added that Applewhite, who is currently in Florida, will not be charged for urinating in public.
Police said that Libretto has no prior arrest history and are unsure if alcohol played a part in the incident.
Lack said that witnesses were difficult to interview because of people going back to Florida.
Applewhite, of Tampa, Fla., was quoted in the Floridian newspaper The Ledger saying, "There is always a bad apple" -- referring to Libretto's actions. The quote was taken before any motive was released by police.