Island Taxi in Surf City, NC recently installed video cameras in all of their taxis for the safety of their drivers. Early Sunday morning, one caught a passenger, who happened to be a US Marine, beating his driver to a pulp.
And after all that, the Marine won't be charged with a felony.
The video shows cab driver Charles Hawkesworth Jr being attacked just after 1 AM Sunday morning by 30-year-old Gunnery Sgt. John Adam Kinosh for taking him to pick up another passenger.
The Island Taxi dispatcher explained the protocol to JDN News.
We were trying to turn a $25 fare into a $12 fare for him and he got all upset. From what I understand (the passenger) was pretty intoxicated.
Hawkesworth offered to just drive Kinosh home, but the marine tells him not to act tough, that Hawkesworth is trying to take his money, and he tries to take the keys. Hawkesworth says he's not trying to take anything from Kinosh, who then starts punching him. He then exits the car and returne to yell at Hawkesworth, but that video has not yet been released, reports JDN News.
Hawkesworth suffered multiple fractures to his face and received about 15 stitches. He has been discharged from the hospital and is resting at home.
Gunnery Sgt. Kinosh checked himself into a psychiatric hospital. Island Taxi owner Rex Bowen asserts it is to avoid being served with his warrants for misdemeanor assault inflicting serious injury, assault inflicting serious injury and communicating threats. Since Kinosh did not use any weapons, only his fists, he cannot be charged with felony-level offenses.
Bowen told WECT 6 News how the incident strikes him.
I've been in business here for five years and I've never had an incident like this. I started this business as a way to get people home safe. What happened is just senseless.
There is currently a "Help Charles Hawksworth" Facebook support page. He is an example of how difficult and dangerous working as a cab driver can be.
The video does contain swearing and a great deal of violence.
UPDATE: He will be charged with a felony.