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

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Submitted: Thu, 09/13/2012 - 2:00am
Updated: Thu, 09/13/2012 - 3:56pm

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


  • SurfCityTom says:

    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.

  • Joe says:

    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.

  • Joe says:

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

  • Guestys says:

    I could not have said it better myself

  • DANGER says:

    What a weak individual you are!

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    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.

  • Snco marines are scum says:

    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

  • Sammy says:

    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

  • Dave says:

    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.

  • Guest 0372 says:

    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.

  • Anonymous says:

    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.

  • Guest 0372 says:

    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.

  • A Random Observer says:

    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.

  • Guesty 1 says:

    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.

  • Stop_And_Think says:

    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!

  • SurfCityTom says:

    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.

  • tweety11 says:

    Project thug, so there is a difference?

  • Vog46 says:

    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


  • surfcityemp says:

    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.

  • TJ says:

    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!

  • notwhatitlookslike says:

    Why are you trying to blame the victim? He was attacked while doing his job. The Marine should be held accountable for his crime and sued in a civil suit to pay for all medical costs related to his actions.

  • windsnake says:

    What is “racial reconstruction surgery”? Also if this guy was behaving badly from the get-go, why did the cabbie let him get into the vehicle?

  • SurfCityTom says:

    you are windsnake and not a one eyed snake of Sigma Nu.

    It’s facial surgery witless; where did you come up with racial? They have to place 3 or 4 small metal plates around his eye from what I read.

  • James williams says:

    I think they meant facial reconstruction surgery.

  • Mikey 1 says:

    Thats what carry permits are for, Jar heads like that.

  • T. Brening says:

    I hope the guy that beat this cab driver fries. Jail is too good for him. People go out drinking and thinking it is ok to get drunk and that is the excuse for their actions. The reason for their actions is the alcohol. This cab driver was doing his job trying to make a living. There is absolutly no reason for anyone to put their hands on anyone. God Bless the cab driver and heal him with your hands God.

  • ILMNCNative says:

    SCTom, if I’m not mistaken (and I may be) I think that cab drivers are technically independent contractors working for the cab company. So, they would have to provide their own insurance.

    The accused should be paying for all medical expenses and punished for his deplorable actions.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    does Island Taxi not have workers compensation insurance? That should cover all medical expenses, no matter how long the proceedures and surgery take. And it should cover lost income as well.

  • longcolt says:

    the marine that did this is a coward. period. attacking an unsuspecting civilian in a disadvantaged position, then checking into a mental health institute. disgusting. if the marines don’t crucify kinosh they’re a cowardly organization. it seems there is a marine in the news weekly for either: beating his wife/girlfriend,attacking each other, attacking innocent citizens, murdering their wives, or failing militarily. i’ll say it again, its time to have that adult conversation about the marine corp, their leadership & continued role/necessity.

  • JC says:

    Ist called PTSD, I am not justifying this marines actions but the military is not giving the proper training to de-combat the ones that are comming back from the war. Many of our law enforcement agencies are having to deal with these war vets. When you are in that type of enviroment for that amount of time it becomes your life, you can not trust anyone its like working in a piticular field of work every day and then changing where you live what you do everyting, its not easy or for some possible to change their work habits. If you woke up and went to sleep everyday with knowing you maybe killed or horribly hanicapped at any moment I bet you would have trouble re-adjusting to a “normal” life that most of us take for granted. The cab driver may have done something innocent that set the marine into “combat mode” and I am sure the cab driver did not mean to do this. The United States Military needs to test the people BEFORE they go into combat and after to see if they can handle combat and returning to society, many soldiers cant it doesnt make them less of a soldier but can be used better in a different position. The sad thing is we will a lot more of these situations as time goes on just look at the vietnam and korea vets that are still dealing with these issues. I hope soldiers will get help if they need it or not BEFORE they distroy their carear.

  • Guest 101 says:

    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.

  • dutchguy says:

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

  • Guest3333333 says:

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

  • Benny says:

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

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

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

  • Guesty1 says:

    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.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    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.

  • Justin America says:

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

  • SurfCityTom says:

    the IRS developed a 7 point test to determine whether someone is a true independant contractor or an employee, regardless of the job title. It all revolves around who controls the driver’s activities.

    I believe, applying the 7 point test, this young man will be an employee for workers compensation benefits.

    At least that’s my reaction based on more than 30 years experience adjusting and investigating workers comp claims.

    Of course, the easiest way to answer the question is for the employer to notify the insurance carrier of the incident and allow the system to handle the young man’s injury expenses and loss of income.

    Let’s hope the employer does in fact have workers compensation coverage.

    There is a joint committee in Raleigh right now studying this very type of incident and trying to determine the best means for the injured party to be cared for financially.

  • MrT says:

    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.

  • Windsnake says:

    Why are you shooting off the handle about ‘blaming the victim’ when the question was about ‘racial reconstruction surgery’ and letting ill-behaved people into one’s vehicle?

  • Civilian says:

    It is extremely unfortunate this incident took place and possibly would have had a different outcome if alcohol was not involved. It would benefit most individuals who work with the current military population to gain training and knowledge regarding issues that could arise upon returning from combat situations. More than likely a GySgt in the USMC, has been exposed to unimaginable situations that civilians will never have to encounter and will never understand. Therefore, it is impossible to comprehend the level of permanent impact this has on many young lives today. A lot of these men and women return with mental health issues due to a high exposure of violence and unimaginable disturbing experiences that go untreated and unresolved. If this service member remembers the events of his attack on the driver, it is more than likely he is not proud of or ok with his actions and would have changed the outcome if able. Until you have walked in someone’s shoes or experienced someone’s life events, think before you judge or make accusations. We all make mistakes, some which go unknown or some which cause less damage. None of us are perfect. My heart goes out to both of these men involved in this unfortunate event.

  • Tracie C says:

    I’ve been in the taxi business for over 15 years now in Wilmington, NC. How many drunken brawls has our company witnessed involving Marines? Too many to remember. I guess all of these cases were “triggered” by the “unimaginable situations” these people SIGNED THEMSELVES UP FOR, is that correct? We should all live in fear of someone who was in the service overseas? And then give him his “atta-boy” when they attack someone while they’re drunk?
    If the man that took this horrendous beating was YOUR son would you then accept the excuse given? You’d take your bleeding heart and help him right? You’d hire his lawyer for him? You’d let him use the excuse of going to war as a way to make it okay? He CHOSE that life. I don’t think the military puts hearts and flowers on being deployed. They’re aware from the get go as to what they may see.
    And I love the line: “A lot of these men and women return with mental health issues due to a high exposure of violence and unimaginable disturbing experiences that go untreated and unresolved”…seems, at the moment this applies to the cab driver CAUSED BY A MARINE.
    No, none of us are perfect. I’ve been drunk in a cab a few times myself. I have seen horrendous things due to abuse. But I DID NOT flip out and assault my cab driver because I’m some holier than thou jarhead on a power trip.
    I’ll judge, yes I will. Accusations? Damned right. It’s on FILM so I think “accusation” is moot. I have cab drivers to look out for. I’ll be making sure they look out for Marines. I’d love to hear the collective opinion of the boys in uniform. That is, IF I can get any cab driver who works in the city to even come close to a drunk Marine now.

  • Guest235 says:

    If he has mental health issues then maybe he shouldn’t be out drinking.

  • Dave says:

    Evidently a typo, look at your keyboard, the R key is right above the F key

  • SurfCityTom says:

    I would agree with you. But he repeated the racial in another post further down.

  • Old Guy says:

    What about all of the other servicemen that have been to combat through out history and still haven’t had any help with their struggles dealing with what happened to them? WWII, Korea, Vietnam so forth. Do you really think that these guys are any different than them? My 83 year old father in law still can’t talk about how he was only one of five soldiers that walked out battle only to watch his commrades over 500 die and or be mamed. The US military has a piss poor record for taking care of it’s own. Keep watching and praying. This guy needs to go to prison for what he has done and I agree that we the taxpayers should not pay for his anger!

  • ABCDE says:

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

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