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SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — Police say a man who dedicates his life to protecting our country turned against a cab driver early Sunday morning. The only question now is why he brutally assaulted a man who was trying to help him.

One year ago the owner of Island Taxi installed dash cams to improve the safety of his drivers. He never expected it to capture the brutal attack that took place over the weekend.

Police say cab driver Charles Hawkesworth was trying to drive Gunnery Sgt. John Adam Kinosh home early Sunday morning when the Marine turned violent.

“I have been in business for over five years, and this is the first time anything like this has happened,” Island Taxi owner Rex Bowen said.

Video shows GySgt. Kinosh pummeling Hawkesworth for close to two minutes. Investigators say it was because Hawkesworth was going to pick up another man to split Kinosh’s cab fare and reduce his cost.

“He has five broken bones in his optical socket area,” Bowen said about his driver’s injuries. “The ER has sent him to a specialist because they don’t know what’s going to happen once the swelling goes down whether the bones are going to collapse or not.”

At one point during the attack, the Marine threatens to kill the driver for making him lose his hat.

“Not in a million years would I have thought that one of my drivers would be almost beat to death just for stupidity,” Bowen said.

Police say GySgt. Kinosh left and checked himself into a mental institution in Wilmington. He left his driver in a pool of blood and the owner of Island Taxi wondering how to prevent a situation like this in the future.

“I’m kind of at a point that I don’t know where to turn as far as to secure and make my drivers any safer,” Bowen said.

Police say GySgt. Kinosh is wanted on three misdemeanor warrants for the beating. Police expect to arrested him when he’s released from the mental facility.


Comment on this Story

  • Jackson Five

    Even if this was PTSD, I certainly hope this stain on human life goes to prison. If he doesnt he most certainly should never be allowed back in the forces. He said it himself when checking into a mental hospital. NEVER i repeat NEVER let this scum bag handle a weapon again.

  • Ajax

    It’s called plexiglass. It can be bulletproof and unbreakable if one wants to spend the money. Unfortunately, this will probably not be the last time you will hear a story like this. The military needs to get a handle on some of the compressed, coiled springs they are sending home.

  • mother


  • mother

    I am tired of this marines using the maring corp as an excused to comitt crimes to include asulting there wifes. the truth is they need to realise that there are responceble for there actions once we start holding them acountable they will reallyce they need to stop hiding under the marine corp skirt. there is nothing to fill proud about a traing maring 225 lb beating on a 105 lb wife, I sujest picking a fihgt with onother traing maring but, that woul be a real problem for this cowards. dont miss read me I loves are forcer but we need to realice there are a few that dont make as proud after all you may love youre chil but dont always aprove or like what they do so lets show them tuff love.

  • Supergirl

    Plan and simple this idiot is what is wrong with the world today!! Everyone is entitled and no consequences. Hope for a better tomorrow, yea right!!

  • SurfCityTom

    you’re an ex military officer?

    Guess you missed Math. Look at when I served; guess my age now; and then use your military knowledge to determine if I still serve.

    And why assume I would use the mameluke or 45? I might have given them to the great procrastinator and liar to even the field.

    I’m surpirsed though that you don’t question what he was doinf while the tiger was dining on a fellow troop? Causes me to think you are that poster also.

  • Jas

    You truly are a moron. Who cares what and who he is. He used the mental hospital as a way out. Pure and simple.

  • Gina

    We actually do know what happened. The cabbie got a call to pick up another customer very nearby, which would have split the Marine’s fair in half. Instead, he flew into a rage.

    I cannot for the life of me think of ANY conversation that could logically lead to this outcome. Can you?

  • Stop_and_think

    He was a regular customer of Island Taxi, and as I have said before, violence was not in his character. This is a small town, everyone knows everyone, and Adam is a part of this community, up until recently, a very positive part. J.R. himself said he has given Adam a ride many times before without incident. There is more to this story than meets the eye, but snap decisions and hate are always easier than contemplation and understanding. This was a tragedy on ALL sides, I feel for and pray for everyone involved.

  • ufos8mycow

    So you are a Marine Officer? And you are asking someone from an online forum to meet you in public if he has a problem with your post?

    Offering to bring your blade and sidearm speaks volumes about your mental state and just how far away you are from the reality of living in a society.

    Someone should take those weapons away from you before you harm yourself or others. As an ex-military officer I beg you to get help and speak with someone.

  • SurfCityTom

    were you in?

    I want to make certain I understand your post.

    You stated you saw more than 6 of your friends die. Is that correct?

    I spent two tours over there. First wearing a Butter Bar and then as a Captain. Forty years later, I know exactly how many of my troops did not come back; I know their names and backgrounds; and there are days when I still wonder what I might have done differently that could have prevented one of the deaths.

    You state you saw one of your friends killed by a tiger. Did you make any effort to save him? Anyone in country should have been qualified with a weapon and able to take a tiger out with a 16. If you couldn’t do that, did you pull your bayonet and stab the tiger? It’s hard for me to imagine anyone on patrol who would stand idley by while a fellow troop becomes a tiger’s breakfast. Now if you bother to check, you would know tigers typically carry their prey from the site of attack to a more secluded location.

    Sorry, but it is virtually impossible to believe you saw action in Southeast Asia.

    Anytime you’d care to prove me wrong in person, let me know. Perhaps we can have an event @ the waterfront park and raise some funds for the injured young man. I still have my Mameluke and 45. So come prepared.

    Hope you prove me wrong. Based on your tiger statement, you’re either a fabricator of false statements or a coward. Which is it?

  • SurfCityTom

    when you penned this piece?

    What is the dead plant you refer to? And what will did someone get behind?

  • Vog46

    Why was the passenger in the front seat of the cab?


  • SurfCityTom

    to a felony.

    Now let him be processed through the system. First by the military and then by the civilian authorities.

  • Robertson

    You can be a stand-up Marine for your entire career. Make a stupid 5-second decision, it will stain that stellar white career for the rest of your life. How many Marines have been honorably discharged, being diagnosed with PTSD? It’s hard to ask for help, but at a certain point, you are responsible for your own actions. I know many Marines who have PTSD. They have learned to recognize certain situations that trigger it (crowds, drinking) and avoid them for theirs and others safety.
    100 character witnesses at his ADSEP board will be a waste of time. The recorder will just play the video. But he’s probably going straight to dishonorable, anyway.
    At the end of the day, he’ll be known for his stupid 5-second decision, and not his years of unblemished service. That’s on him alone.

  • Biff Beluga

    Who is the state to decide whether a person can partake in an action that is harmful to themselves? Also, alcohol is most probably more harmful than the “dead plant” that you so vehemently oppose the use of. The use of alcohol aided in Gunnery Sergeant Ass Clown’s assault of the cab driver, and also contributes to thousands of DUI caused deaths each year. I cant really see the “dead plant” causing that kind of damage. I wouldn’t use the “dead plant” myself, but saying that it is more dangerous or equally as dangerous as alcohol is completely absurd. The only reason that the “dead plant” is illegal is due to xenophobia. Please educate yourself.

  • Biff Beluga

    This “Gunny” should go to prison for what he did! This is not PTSD, this is a drunk bully! The idiot went to the “wizard” because he knew his **** was grass. As a Marine I am appalled! I cannot believe that the Marine Corps promotes these clowns. He’ll probably end up as a Sergeant Major too. Way to go “Gunny”! Civilians, please do not think for one moment that all of us are like this (contrary to the comments made by other **** hat Marines defending “Gunny” **** Suck). There are but a few of us that still believe that our purpose is to serve and protect you. Unfortunately, most of us are getting out because of the travesty our Corps has become. For all of you idiot Marines defending “Gunny” Screw Bag, what if the man that was assaulted was your father or brother? A false defense of PTSD wouldn’t matter then would it? Fry the “Gunny”!

  • oldskool

    I would say that there is obviously a problem in the system… a man like this should never have been allowed to enter the military, and under no circumstantial should he have been allowed in any sensitive position, or given any medals

    I would say that anyone who defends this man needs to examine there motives, this includes the mans CO, who has done nothing to condemn the acts his superabundant has perpetrated, and the others who have not launched a study to find out how this maniac got so far in our armed forces.

  • Grand Ole Party

    You can “Like to think” all you want, you have no street creds. You are still a liberal tard. And yes you are still a girlie boy.

  • Guest22

    I served in Vietnam and saw significant combat time, and also saw more than 6 of my friends die, including one who was killed by a tiger (fyi – in most instances, if you are killed by a tiger, the tiger will start eating you before you actually die). Every person with whom I served who acted like this was an asshole before he saw combat.

    What this Marine did was criminal, and he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. He has disgraced the Corps, and gets no sympathy from me. He chose the wrong path in his life, as he is obviously not mentally strong enough to handle Corps life in war time. Being *physically* strong and capable is only part of what makes a real warrior.

  • Trevor

    what would you say if I told you that everything you said is beyond irrelevant ! ” So who is really at fault here?” .. are you seriously asking this question ? The man that decided to get ripping drunk and beat the tar out of some poor guy doing his job ! thats who is at fault … Being a hero doesn’t give you a free pass to be a villain – PERIOD

  • Das Weibstück

    I would say your Marine friend can kiss my butt.

    He is an idiot, I don’t care what hes seen or done.

    45% of all vets from the last 2 wars are claiming disability… really?

    PTSD is hard to disprove and a paycheck for the rest of your life is what a lot of these guys are after. Many , many MEN have seen war and didn’t fall apart mentally at the rate of today’s wimpy soldiers.

    I know of a female Marine on disability for PTSD and she never saw a day of combat !!

  • Way2GoJarHead

    I don’t care how decorated this person is. He needs to go to jail. Preferably of the pound-you-in-the-a$$ persuasion.

    And how much of a punk could he possibly be? Hiding out in a nuthouse?

    This sort of thing cannot happen. It is absolutely unacceptable for a member of our armed forces to assault a civilian like this.

    I hope he rots for a long time.

  • Noriega

    “I mean yeah, he beat the hell out of a guy unprovoked… BUT YOU KNOW HE’S GOT A SUPER GOOD EXCUSE SO WHY DON’T ALL OF YOU JUST SHUT UP!”

    World doesn’t work that way, sport.

  • Guestser

    What would I say? That he needs to accept responsibility for nearly killing an innocent man… That if he does indeed have PTSD then he shouldn’t be out getting drunk and beating up cabbies… That all his accomplishments, that you claim to be facts, doesn’t give him the right to assault ANYBODY. As a civilian I appreciate his service but he should be punished accordingly.

  • Guest 10101

    For a 2 1/2 year period over 20 years ago, before it became a kinder, gentler city, I drove a NYC cab. Drove at night six nights a week, 10-11 hours per night. Never skipped one night of work. Never carried a gun. Found myself in a personally scary situation on more than just one occassion. Now that I’m older, I’m not so sure I would still have the stones to repeat those days. During one of those years four drivers were murdered at night. During my tenure as a driver, I experienced two unsuccessful robbery attempts. Let me repeat that. Unsuccessful.

    I would think those street creds give me the right to voice my own opinion on this subject.

    You have every right to voice your own opinion as well, but unless you’ve done that yourself, don’t make yourself look stupid trying to sound like Arnold Stupid-nager with the girlie boy stuff. In the context of this discussion, it’s appropos of nothing.

  • Mitch

    He must accept responsibility for his actions and not hide in a hospital.

  • Snowman

    At the rate Wilmington and the nearby area is spiraling downward into the abyss, it will soon mirror the armpit of the world; Fayetteville, NC. Each of you should hope and pray, as I do, that the Government closes Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg to clean up North Carolina.

  • 8541

    I did watch the video and he had plenty of time to pull a gun and end this pathetic POS marine life. O boo who, he may have PTSD though. Give me a break.

  • penguin meat

    What on earth would be wrong with the attacker being shot dead? Are you crazy?

  • Guest2020

    That dead plant is harmful to the person who ingests it and if they get behind the will while under its influence then it can be death to others. What you need to know about the justice system is that the charges incurred upon arrest are seldom the only charges that are taken to court. At this stage in the process, they can probably only prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is a misdemeanor. As the investigation continues and eventually makes its way to court, then there will no doubt be more charges added to the indictment.

  • A friend

    You’re all entitled to your own opinions, as misinformed as they may be. But what would you say if I told you this marine was in the white house a few months ago getting recognized by your president Obama for “Special Forces appreciation week”? What would you say if I told you this marine was nominated for the Yankee Whites straight out of boot camp? (These are the marines who are stationed in the White House). And he was promoted while still in boot camp. Graduated 1st in physical fitness out of however many 100s who graduated from Parris Island with him. He became a special forces operative for a reason. Dont get me wrong; It’s very sad that this happened to an innocent individual. It’s more sad the way the military doesn’t treat and diagnose PTSD in our warriors. What if I told you this marine was a team leader, in charge of 12 other marines lifes. What if he saw 6 of them die a year ago in his last deployment? And the military physciayrits released him…. This man is a highly decoraded war hero, i can find you probably 100 character witnesses for him. He has put his life at risk, and watched others lose their lifes so you can sit there and pass judgement… So who is really at fault here? This is happening everyday, an entire generation of veterans deal with these problems. The things this man has seen and done half of you probably couldn’t imagine. So go ahead and pass judgement.

  • Grand Ole Party

    You are such a liberal tard. He beat him so bad that it fractured a piece of his skull, he in fact could have very well killed him. So why should he not be able to protect himself and shoot the perpetrator? You are such a little girlie boy. Man up!

  • Guest310

    I’d like to know what you think could occur in a conversation that would justify this.

  • DustyD

    It looks like he was under the influence to me. And apparently some internal rage or instability was brought out that he couldn’t contain. Maybe he cannot handle booze? He needs AA like another person suggested, and anger management. Either way, this will damage his career significantly. And now that it is national news, even worse. Everyone loses here.

  • Trusno1

    Few days ago I was coming back from my holiday, and I flag a cab at heathrow airport.
    I usually pay £ 35.00, I live quite near the airport. I get into the taxi and the driver took a very strange way, when I have tried to say something he told me “You can go back by walk I know the road and this is a shortcut”. I didn’t want to get off the car as I was with my with and my baby boy just 7 months old. When we reach my home the cabby told me £ 87.00, I paid and then after he left I spoke with my wife regarding what to do. At the end we just decide to stick on some driver that we know. But what I would love to know is how the conversations started. I mean it is impossible to judge without knowing what happened before the altercation.

  • VV

    This is the email address for Camp Lejeunes liason for news, imagery etc
    (the only email they list)


    They need to hear what people think about this idiot.

  • Micheal

    In this video it’s hard to look at what occurred . The behavior was out of control. My condolences go out to Charles. He is a marine of 13yrs with high rank, he’s been through more then anyone I know . His actions were terrifying and for the smiley , modest , fun guy I know. Other brothers of our USMC should not be judged for this incident. It’s unfortunate. My thoughts go out to all hurt and affected. Heal fast and easy Charles

  • Saddened

    This is horrible and I pray for a speedy recovery for that young man. God bless him!I place some of the blame on the Marine Corp itself for not recognizing mental issues or promoting these guys getting help after they have been in war. They go through some rough crap over there, come back home and are expected to go right back to a normal civilian lifestyle. It just isn’t possible and the Corp says, ” You are a Marine, you can handle it.” Well, they can’t all handle it. That’s just a fact. They create these killing machines and expect them to switch it on and off like a light switch. Some of them just snap, there is no good time, good place or good person for it to happen to but it does happen. It is obvious that he did something horrible but it is also obvious that he has been through something himself. I pray for that Marine also because he has been there to protect my family and all of you too.

  • Guesterer

    Cab drivers should be required to carry firearms and seporated from the passengers. To bad the driver coul’ndt have split the atackers brain with a 45.

  • Raleigh Resident

    How this isn’t a felony is a CLEAR example of our broken legal system.

    When someone can be arrested for a felony for carrying around a bag of a dead plant and THIS is only a misdemeanor, should be another eye-opener that society and the legal system has lost its way.

    And the only facility or organization he needs is a life time of AA, hardly a mental facility. This piece of crap individual did it ONLY because his attorney will use it in court for a reduction in sentencing.

  • Guest 10101

    If you took the time to watch the video or actually had a brain (either one, you pick if you’re capable) you would know that the cabbie never would have had a chance to use it and probably would have been a victim of his own gun as well.

    Add to that the concept of cabbies carrying guns in that environment plus the attacker being shot dead for that offense and the sum total of that equation is …… you’re an idiot.

    A partition and lockable front doors would have protected him in this case. Too bad he didn’t have those options.

  • guesty

    And people wonder why some Wilmington downtown bars don’t want Marines in their business. All it takes is a few idiots to tarnish the whole group. No different than when a bad cop is discovered, the whole force is tainted.

  • Temperance

    Regular or not, there are rules and procedures to be followed.

    Especially when dealing with drunks who happen to be marines.

    The victim here is not to blame but he made some poor decisions that lead to this situation.

    1.) Never have a drunk in the front seat, no matter how ‘buddy buddy’ you are.

    2.) If he says don’t get another customer, especially if he called you, don’t. Just don’t.

    3.) If you do not comply and he wants to get out, let him get out. No amount of money is worth confrontation especially if you have another customer waiting in the wings.

    4.) Do not escalate. Touching an angry drunk, especially a marine who may or may not be facing PTSD, is a poor decision.

    We are told to drive defensively. That we can only control our own actions and not others. Is it really that absurd to suggest we deal with people the same way?

    The driver shouldn’t have gotten his butt beaten but even as we watch the video, if we look past the emotional high, you’ll see he didn’t exactly help his own situation.

  • Temperance

    Phew. I’m glad you were there. Clearly we can wrap this all up.

    Oh, wait, you weren’t. You’re just another face in the angry mob of distant observers looking for a reason to get angry and throw tomatoes.

    What Adam did was shameful, make no mistake, but to assume PTSD was not at the heart of the issue is ignorant at best. Did you follow this man through his career? He was a good soldier from my understanding and even won a bronze star if I’ve read right. But take a soldier from what he knows and put him in an unfamiliar environment does things.

    Or else we wouldn’t have so many groups and movements to aid veterans, now would we? Apparently a lot of them have issues. I don’t know. I’ve never been shot at and I’ve never shot anyone but just thinking about it makes me feel anywhere from uncomfortable all the way to sick in my stomach. This man and those like him have killed MANY people, have lost friends, have been shot at many times and even a soldier, with all his training, will not come out unscathed.

    I was hit by a car once. Just once. And I still suffer my own sort of PTSD. We all do to varying extent. So I would caution against suggesting that PTSD was not at the heart of it.

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