Man charged in baseball bat attack is ex-Marine with PTSD, mom tells judge

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A man charged in a baseball bat attack involving several people and a toddler is suffering from two traumatic brain injuries as an ex-Marine with PTSD, his mother said in court.

Ryan Allen Knox, 29, hit several people in a brutal attack with a metal baseball bat inside an apartment in the Market Common area on Thursday, according to police.

The first male victim took to the stand at the bond hearing on Friday to say he himself was in the military and knows it is difficult, but these actions are inexcusable. He said he let Knox sleep on his couch that night after he had been drinking.

The victim, who is the father to a 2-year-old in the home at the time, says if he wouldn’t have fought him back, he believes he really would have killed everyone. His wife is in the hospital with 14 stitches.

He feels unsafe knowing Knox knows where he lives and knows his class schedule at a local university.

During his bond hearing, Knox’s mother told the judge her son is a former Marine who has saved lives, and this behavior is not in his character. She said he doesn’t remember the incident and suffers from severe PTSD.

“I’m not wanting to make an excuse for him, but he was over in Afghanistan for the first push, and in the first IUD,” his mother said. “Some of the men from that unit were sent home, but he was patched up and sent to another IUD on foot. He had more shrapnel and another brain injury.

“He has been diagnosed with two traumatic brain injuries and horrible PTSD. He had no business drinking, that’s the big problem there,” she said.

Knox was in a facility at the VA for a week, his mother said, and he was supposed to go to in-house treatment, but they didn’t have a slot for him. “So they sent him home to wait and he went to college and was doing well, but little by little started the drinking. He doesn’t do drugs and wouldn’t take his anxiety medicine.”

The judge set bond at $150,000 total, $50,000 on each of three counts of attempted murder and assault charges.

During the attack, one of the victims, a woman, fell onto the bathroom floor and was knocked unconscious for a short period of time, according to police. She was later transported to Grand Strand Regional Hospital with severe injuries to her head and face. 

During the incident, Knox reportedly threatened to kill everyone inside the residence.

Another warrant says Knox hit another victim in the head with the bat. This victim, a man, was trying to protect his wife, a friend and a child, according to the warrant. The man received a large swollen knot to the top right side of his head.

A third warrant states that Knox, at one point, tried to make his way to a 2-year-old’s bedroom, but was stopped by the father of the child. That’s when a struggle ensued. One of the victims grabbed the child and escaped out of a window, according to the warrant. A short time later, the warrant says Knox left the residence with the bat and was actively looking for the victim and child.

Knox was later arrested and charged with attempted murder/assault.

Count on News13 for updates on this developing story.

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