Woman: Son charged in bat attack is ex-Marine with PTSD

April 8, 2019 GMT

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — A man accused of attacking three people with a baseball bat in South Carolina is a former Marine who had two traumatic brain injuries and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, his mother said during his bond hearing.

Ryan Knox, 29, is charged with four counts of attempted murder, news outlets reported. His mother, Cindy Knox, told the judge during her son’s court appearance on Friday that he has PTSD after serving in Afghanistan, where he had near-death encounters with improvised explosive devices. She talked through tears telling the judge that her son needs help, not jail.

One of the victims also spoke at the bond hearing for Knox. He said that he and Knox are college classmates and that he invited Knox to his home because he was too drunk to drive after they had gone out Thursday night. He said that he was in the military too, but that is not an excuse for the assault.

They were chatting about their experiences serving before Knox became violent and hit him, his wife, and their friend with a bat, he said. The friend was able to escape the fight through a window with the couple’s 2-year-old daughter.

Knox appeared to have passed out during the hearing. Officers were seen on the screen escorting him out after he had slumped unconscious in a chair.

Myrtle Beach police Cpl. Thomas Vest said an assault report had sent officers to an apartment complex where Knox attacked and wounded the people with a bat.

The judge said Knox will receive a full examination while he is in custody. He set bond at $50,000 on each of the counts against him.