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FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: Suspect in cabbie beating charged with felony

READ MORE: FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: Suspect in cabbie beating charged with felony

UPDATE -- Surf City police have reviewed video of Marine Gunnery Sgt. John Adam Kinosh assaulting cab driver Charles Hawkesworth. The charges against Kinosh have been upgraded to one felony count of assault inflicting serious injury and a misdemeanor count of communicating threats.

Kinosh is in a mental health facility in Wilmington and cannot be arrested until his release.

Surf City, NC (WWAY) – Charles Hawkesworth had learned to expect the unexpected as a cab driver, but he never dreamed of a situation like Sunday morning.

Charles Hawkesworth was assaulted by Gunnery Sgt. John Adam Kinosh after picking him up from Trailer Bar in Surf City and attempting to give him a ride home.

"He was really confrontational at the get go,” said Hawkesworth. “When he started screaming at me I knew at that point that I was probably going to get hit. You're hoping against hope and praying for it not to happen but your just waiting for it to happen."

The beating left Hawkesworth with a piece of his skull detached. Hawkesworth will also need facial reconstruction surgery with three to four steel plates tying together his eye socket, cheekbone, and sinuses.

His injuries are so severe that he has been referred to a specialist, but the uninsured cabbie doesn’t know how he will pay for the needed surgery.

"I have never had health insurance and I didn't figure I needed it with this job because even if most people are rude they're still kind of friendly,” said Hawkesworth.

If you wish to donate money to help Charles Hawkesworth pay his medical bills you can do so online at

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


This has been taking to the extreme in the media, and internet

Let me just say what happen to Mr. Hawkesworth was terrible and Mr. Kinosh was wrong in every way possible. I have had a place at Surf City since 1993 it has always been a quiet place and have loved having a place down there and have spent every summer at the beach. I have followed this story since it has happened, seen most of the comments the facebook post and it saddens me to see some of the comments. Who are we to sit in judgement of anyone we dont have holes in our hands. Mr. Hawkesworth did not deserve to get beat up but I also do not know this Mr. Kinosh I do not know what he has seen or been through. I do know this I lost a son last year in afhgan and my other son was there and called to his side an is just now getting help for PTSD everyone goes through things differently handles things differently. This marine was prosecuted before he has even went to court. We dont know why he admitted hisself into a mental facility maybe his commanding officer made him, maybe he snapped in his right mind and realized what he done we dont know. We dont know why he ran from the reporter maybe his lawyer told him to maybe his commanding officer told him too we dont know. Maybe its because he's a Marine that this story has made it so big folks get beat up everyday to the week.Yes he is suppose to protect our country and the people in it not attack us, he made a mistake a bad one but for 14 years he protected us I dont beleive their is all bad to this Marine. Everyone makes bad errors and mistakes some worse then others a wrong is a wrong no matter how big or small. Maybe the media and everyone else needs to wait and see what happens before passing judgement on the internet. I pray that the marine gets the help he needs and Mr. Hawkesworth continues to heal the community really came together for him by raising over 23,000 dollars for him

Sir, sorry about your loss.

Sir, sorry about your loss. The fact that this person is supposed to represent honor, disapline, respect, devotion to duty. I don't care if there is PTSD, self control! Adding alcohol to a mental mess because of the work hard play hard mentality is unacceptable. Police are held to a high standard, if a Police did this in uniform or not in uniform, everyone would want his badge and to be locked up as I would. Alcohol causes a person to lose inhibitions and the real nature of an individual comes out. Violance is his nature and that was surely displayed. The fact that a camara caught everything is what has gotten a few of you upset. If there was no camara this would most likely have a different spin. One where the cab driver tried to rob him and the poor Marine was defending himself, and you sir would most likely be ranting how this hero that served his country was taken advantage of and robbed by this shady cab driver. I say shame on you sir and your ability to twist the truth. He has brought great shame to the uniform this is why the news plays on this. Oh and by the way he is not the only Marine that has been in physical altercations a lot do this the only difference is this was caught on camera. The rest is "my word against his word" type deal. Also remember the woman that was killed and burned in a shallow grave, and that Marine tried to escape, please try to defend that!

It's being reported locally

It's being reported locally that this may have been a somewhat "planned out attack" to get a PTSD disabilty discharge.

Apparently Kinosh has been trying to get a discharge claiming a physical injury. The Marines weren't buying it and this may have been plan B? He wants out and the family wants to return home to CT, NY, or where ever. Notice in the vid how he immediately mentions his "broken back". After the attack he is able to get off the island and to the mental health facility before LE can ID and find him. No easy task with only two avenues off Topsail (besides a boat). He may have had a ride on standby? Watching the video he seems intent on forcing a confrontation. There's no doubt he was drinking but he may have not been quite as inebriated as it seems?? Some patrons there said he was pretty quiet but was kind of eye-balling certain people??

I can only hope if this is all true the authorities don't buy it.

What you are doing

is spreading hearsay. And that does not help the authorities with their investigation.

Trailer Bar personnel had reported he consumed no alcohol in their facility. That may have changed.

There are certainly many questions to ask.

If married with a wife and child, what was he doing out at that time of night? There's one question to be asked.

Hearsay and conjecture are not admissable in court.

Let the authorities, both civilian and military do their jobs.

The question again

Why was the passenger in the front seat?
Unless its a multi-passenger (3 or more) pick up a quick easy way to alleviate this is to put all riders in the back seat and perhaps a barricade between front and back?
Just having that person in the back seat increases driver safety imho


If I heard correctly,

there will be a fundraiser on Sunday from 2:00 to 8:00 for the young man. Being held at several locations, including the Trailer Bar, with various local bands playing.

Island Taxi's owner can probably confirm and provide specific details.


I don't care what Kinosh did, NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT right to post his address online. He has a wife and young child and they in no way deserve to have their safety jeopardized because of what he did. I also think people are failing to recognize the role the USMC had in all of this. If it wasn't such a stigma to seek professional help for psychological problems that arise from MULTIPLE tours of duty protecting out country in a psychologically damaging role, case in point, as a sniper, then maybe there would be less incidents like this. I'm in no way trying to excuse his behavior, this assault was horrific and unjustified, and he deserves severe repercussions for what he has done. But lets try not to propagate hate and instead figure out how we as a country can do to keep tragic stories such as this from happening in the first place. And for crying out loud delete that idiotic post with his address!

I agree.....but

Once charges have been filed it is public record. I do not agree with that, but that is how it is. Look at any local police blotter.

I disagree with this line of

I disagree with this line of thinking.

I agree that some servicemen have problems adjusting from combat zones but in this case, what we saw was a garden variety bully who was full of liquor and nearly beat a cab driver to death. As others have noted, I too am rapidly tiring of this lame 'untouchable status' our society has bestowed upon service members, one can only assume as some sort of gigantic overcompensation for our having been too far in the other direction after Vietnam.

Thanks for your service, but nobody gets free passes on stuff like this.

Some people see this as the actions of a Marine.
I see this as the actions of a thug named John who has no business being a Marine. If there's any integrity in the Marine Corps (unlike what we see in local podunk police departments when officers get caught misbehaving and its covered up by their fellow mouthbreathers) this man should be discharged for dishonoring the uniform.

Why is eveybody assumming he

Why is eveybody assumming he has PTSD like it's some fore gone conclusion. Maybe he's just an a$$ hat that can't handle his booze. Everybody has an excuse these days! These wild speculations that he must have been scarred over seas is BS. Reminds me of all these project thugs that commit terrible crimes and then blame it on their living environment / culture.
I to served over seas and have never once thought about doing something like that. Also most "SF" personel never even see the enemy or fire their weapon. I bet the case with this scumbag Kinosh.

Served with Adam overseas.

Served with Adam overseas. He definitly saw the enemy. As a matter of fact he was medevaced almost excatly five years ago when his truck got hit by an rpg that killed our Corpsmen. That was his third combat tour. On his fourth he was first responer to to an ied strike that killed one of his team members (burned to death in GMV) and left the gunner with out a leg. Oh wait I forgot that he also treated his team chief who lost both legs and both arms. He got a couple of BV for his actions in combat. As for him beating this cabbie totaly uncalled for he should have beat the owner of Island Cabs who has been ripping off drunk Marines with this "Share a Cab" policy. By the way if you watch the whole video you would see that is why Adam went Ape S#$%. Funny no one is asking about this.

The Reason

The reason no one is talking about it, is beacause it is not a valid reason to beat the s*it out of someone!!!!

Served with Adam overseas.

Served with Adam overseas. He definitly saw the enemy. As a matter of fact he was medevaced almost excatly five years ago when his truck got hit by an rpg that killed our Corpsmen. That was his third combat tour. On his fourth he was first responer to to an ied strike that killed one of his team members (burned to death in GMV) and left the gunner with out a leg. Oh wait I forgot that he also treated his team chief who lost both legs and both arms. He got a couple of BV for his actions in combat. As for him beating this cabbie totaly uncalled for he should have beat the owner of Island Cabs who has been ripping off drunk Marines with this "Share a Cab" policy. By the way if you watch the whole video you would see that is why Adam went Ape S#$%. Funny no one is asking about this.

assuming he

Project thug, so there is a difference?

Drunken Marine(s)

Inividuals such as this are one of the BIGGEST reasons that I decided to get out of the Marine Corps (EAS for you Marines reading this) after my contract was up. This kind of garbage is absolutely uncalled for. Unfortunately, while there are SOME good people in the USMC, I can honestly say that the vast majority that I met while I was in had the similar mentality of what you all just saw in the video. Its OK though, idiots who like to cause trouble usually either end up four feet under OR end up spending most of their life in the D.O.C. After watching this disgusting video, I hope that this guy is convicted of his FELONY charges and spends some time in the NC D.O.C. He has most certainly earned it! Yall stay safe over in that part of the state! I'm from the mountains where we don't ever see any Marines or any of the ensuing drama that goes along with living near a Marine Corps base.

Couldn't pass the PFT, huh?

I spent twenty-two years in the Marine Corps and can state without reservation that the number of a**holes, alcoholics, and people suffering from mental illness is no higher than those you run into in the civilian world.

This is not a defense of the Gunny, who must be held accountable for his actions, but to try and pin this to the Marine Coprps culture is nonsensical.

I'm sorry that "Don't ask, don't tell" didn't end sooner for you.

You and all your friends are garbage

Look dude, the marine corps is filled with Snco's who think they can do whatever they want. They feel as though the world owes them and that the law does not apply to them. I come across this every day that I put on my monkey suit and serve under you ignorant, lazy turds. It blows my mind. You graduate high school and 20 years in the corps later you still have the mind of an 18 year old. High school zero = Marine Corps hero. Snco's are socially awkward because they can't function in society. They can't comprehend the fact the they have no authority over civilians. I'm not gonna get into a spill about how the USMC really is, so I'll just sum it all up. America this is exactly how every Marine is. The way he talked to that cabbie is an every day occurrence in the disorganization known as the USMC. All the propaganda that the USMC puts out with its movies and books is fake. Go to and read about first hand experiences. These are real stories of your beloved corps. And as for you retired a** holes, you're retired and yet you can't move on past the corps. You probably have a job on some base because you can't function around normal people

This is beautiful

I could not have said it better myself

Marines in Cabs

I drive a taxi, in Wilmington, and we get a lot of Marines on weekend passes going to & from the bars....Guys, you'll be walking this weekend, the cabs will NOT provide service to you.

What a weak individual you

What a weak individual you are!

A sense of Entitlement

is bestowed, wrongfully by training officers on members of the Military.
These young men are led to believe their service renders them super human and untouchable status. For most this facade never reaches this point of violence against the innocent. It would be nice if their was some effort to track the mental stability while our young men and women are having their brains washed. What a shame that our young who have had so little time to experience real life situations get thrust into the unrealistic from which far to many DIE.

What the video doesn't show,

What the video doesn't show, is that after beating him, he made J.R. search the cab for his hat, while saying that he would kill him if he didn't find it. He even left the cab, came back, punched him in the face again and left saying, "I hope you die a slow death."
If this act alone isn't a felony I don't know what is?? Charles is fortunate one of these blows didn't kill him. * Attempted murder I say! To all workers and citizens I say get a handgun and training and then a CCW permit. It's really too bad Charles wasn't armed when he returned to punch him the last time, that would've have been the perfect time for a justified shooting.

you love solving things with

you love solving things with guns in that country dont you?

Dear Dutchguy

Need I remind you that without American guns, you'd be speaking German?

What country?

In which peace-loving, non-violent, utopian Country do you live?

Not really, but the world

Not really, but the world would be better off without certain people in it. I'd just like to see him get his in a big way and I doubt justice will ever truly be served via the Navy / Marine judicial system. People like him only understand one thing and that's pain and more violence. He'll probably end up murdering somebody and probably beats women as well. Spit on him and anybody like him I say.

Have you been watching reality shows?

at some point, once he is released from the mental hospital in Wilmington, he will face a military proceeding in which his service will end under less than honorable conditions.

Once that occurs, he faces civil justice.

The United States Marine

The United States Marine Corps should pay for the surgery...or at least the defendant should!!!!

Why should the taxpayers be

Why should the taxpayers be financially responsible for the actions of an individual?

Did not tax payers create

Did not tax payers create this monster?? His duty is to protect the country. Not beat a taxi driver.