Police: Impatient driver punches NYC sanitation worker in face

FAR ROCKAWAY, Queens (WABC) -- A man is under arrest after allegedly punching a New York City sanitation worker in the face after he reportedly became impatient waiting on his truck to finish making its rounds.

The 56-year-old sanitation worker was assaulted Wednesday just after 10 a.m. in the 800 block of Hartman Lane.

Police say Luis Morales, 38, became impatient while waiting on the sanitation truck to complete its round of pick-ups.

Morales then allegedly drove onto the sidewalk and got into a verbal dispute with the worker before punching him in the face.

He fled the scene, but was later arrested on charges of assault and harassment.

The sanitation worker suffered minor injuries but is expected to be OK.

"New York City Sanitation Workers perform a tough job that keeps our city healthy, clean and safe. Assaulting a Sanitation Worker is a felony. We will work with the Queens District Attorney to have this prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Acting Commissioner Steven Costas said.

Uniformed Sanitationmen's Association President Harry Nespoli issued the following statement:

"On behalf of the dedicated men and women of the Department of Sanitation, who are on our streets every day, I want to thank the police officers for their quick response when one of our members was under attack in Queens today. Assaulting a sanitation worker is a felony. The public must understand that sanitation workers have a difficult and sometimes hazardous job. Drivers must exercise patience and caution when they are passing a sanitation truck."

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