Last week, cab driver Charles Hawkesworth was brutally attacked by one of his late night passengers, a US Marine. Now, as the attacker is finally being charged with a felony, Hawkesworth's North Carolina community is banding together to support him in the best way we can imagine.
Businesses, bars, bands, restaurants, and residents in Topsail Island, NC are raising money for Hawkesworth's medical bills and living expenses while he recovers from his attack.
On September 9, cab driver Charles Hawkesworth was attacked just after 1 AM by a possibly intoxicated 30-year-old Gunnery Sgt. John Adam Kinosh, allegedly for taking him to pick up another passenger. Though Hawkesworth told Kinosh that he would take him home alone, the marine accused Hawkesworth of trying to steal his money and beat him to a bloody mess in his cab.
Hawkesworth is resting at home now with multiple fractures in his face, displacing part of his skull from his sinuses to his eye socket and cheekbone. Later this week he will have reconstructive surgery.
This is where Hawkeworth's tight knit community comes to the fore.
The Topsail Island community has set up the Roving Band in the Sand Benefit for Charles this Sunday, September 16. The event runs from 2 to 8 PM with a long list of participating bars, live music, auctions, raffles, and a bar-to-bar shuttle service run by Hawkesworth's taxi company. Island Taxi owner Rex Bowen commented on Facebook praising the event.
I'll add more details as we confirm them, but we hope to see you all out there and once again thank you for all the support. You have shown us that this is the best community on the planet.
This comes after Hawkesworth gave an interview describing his attack. After repeatedly punching him, Gunnery Sgt. Kinosh demanded that he "find my f***ing hat!"
I just wanted him to be as far away from me as possible. I wanted him to get his hat and just get away from me. I was trying to see, but honestly I couldn't I didn't have my glasses on [Kinosh had punched them off]. All I could see, really, was blood.
It was previously believed that since Kinosh did not use any weapons, he would not be charged with a felony. WECT 6 News reports that the detective on the case, working with the Onslow County District Attorney's office and Hawkesworth's doctors, determined that Hawkesworth's injury was serious enough to warrant one count of felony inflicting serious bodily injury. Kinosh has checked himself into a psychiatric hospital and has not yet been served with the felony charges.
You can hear the full interview with WECT 6 News below. We remind you the video contains a great deal of violence and swearing.
Given that Hawkesworth was attacked taking a passenger home late at night, presumably from a bar, setting up a safe, respectful bar crawl is a perfect way to show him and other taxi drivers support. The late night run can be especially dangerous for cabbies. They deserve praise for keeping potential drunk drivers off the roads.
If you are near Topsail Island, we encourage you to attend the benefit. Specific information on the event and its donations is available on Facebook. You can also send direct donations for the event's charity auction to Dail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wherever you are, please leave good wishes for Charles at the "Help Charles Hawkesworth" Facebook support page.
Photo Credit: Charles Hawkesworth/Facebook