SURF CITY, NC (WECT) - A cab driver, who was attacked during a pick up over the weekend, will undergo surgery in Raleigh Thursday for facial fractures.
Charles Hawkesworth, Jr. spoke with WECT News Tuesday afternoon about the attack and the possible punishment for the man facing charges in the beating. Video inside the cab captured the brutal attack.
Hawkesworth said he knew things were turning bad when the passenger, John Adam Kinosh, started yelling at him. Hawkesworth was following directions from his dispatcher to pick up another fare on his way to Holly Ridge.
"I tried to calm him down," Charles Hawkesworth said. "I tried to reason with him. I tried to explain to him what's going on, that we were to just get him home and split a cab with a fellow Marine. That's normally never a problem."
Hawkesworth said he quickly realized this could turn out badly.
"I was more afraid than anything else," Hawkesworth said. "Because I figured when he started screaming at me, I figured something right then wasn't right and it wasn't going to be very pretty."
Hawkesworth said when the beating started, he tried to get closer to Kinosh to limit his range of motion, but the seatbelt held him back. He doesn't remember much after that, but he does have a memory of his dispatcher trying to reach him over the radio.
"All I could really see was blood," Hawkesworth said. "I remember trying to lunge at him to try to close the distance between us, so he wouldn't have enough swing on him, but I got caught by the seatbelt. I couldn't reach out and I couldn't get close to him. I just had to eventually sit there and take it."
Hawkesworth met with a specialist in Jacksonville yesterday. He says he has facial fractures, with part of his skull from his sinuses to his eye socket and cheekbone displaced. He will have reconstructive surgery later this week.
Hawkesworth said he has watched the video of the attack and for him, it brought back feelings of fear.
"In watching the video, it put everything into perspective because I honestly didn't realize that he went for the keys and I stopped him from doing that," he said. "I don't even remember that part. But most of it was just fear."
Despite the attack, Hawkesworth said he would return to his job if there was a way to make it safer.
"I love being a cab driver," Hawkesworth said.
Police say Kinosh, a 30-year-old Gunnery Sgt., will face two counts of assault inflicting serious injury and one count of communicating threat after getting released from a psychiatric hospital. Hawkesworth said he believes the charges should be felonies.