SURF CITY, NC (WECT) – A taxi driver in Surf City was assaulted while working earlier this month. Charles Hawkesworth is home from surgery and is talking about attack.
The vivid beating was caught on camera, thanks to surveillance videos installed in Hawkesworth's cab. In it, you can see 30-year-old Gunnery Sgt. John Adam Kinosh repeatedly hitting Hawkesworth in the face.
"I thought about unbuckling my seatbelt, but that would have meant taking one of my arms down, and I just couldn't sacrifice that at the moment," explained Hawkesworth.
Considering all he went through, the taxi driver has had a positive attitude throughout the experience. Hawkesworth said he's not mad at Kinosh or the military for what happened.
The driver's injuries were serious enough that Kinosh is facing felony charges for the attack.
Hawkesworth had surgery to repair his face structure at UNC hospital last week. Tuesday was the first day Hawkesworth has been able to talk since having two titanium plates put in his face. Doctors say his appearance won't change, but he won't be able to eat solid foods for several more weeks.
Hawkewsorth is healing, but says he still has nightmares.
"The only fear that I face now is sometimes in my sleep I recall it in my dreams," he explained. "I've watched the tape a few times and I'm not going to watch it again until the upcoming court date to get it fresh on my mind. I'm just trying to push everything as far away as possible so I can focus on healing."
The cab driver is surprised by the outpouring of support from the community. Many businesses in Surf City held a fund raiser Sunday to help pay for his medical bills.
As of now, Kinosh is still in a psychiatric hospital in Wilmington. Authorities are waiting to arrest him once he is released.
WECT is working to get Hawkeworth's entire interview posted online. Be sure to check back to watch the raw video.
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