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California Hitchhiker Called “Hero”, Interview Goes Viral

A hitchhiker’s interview with Fresno FOX affiliate KMPH has had millions of views on YouTube, and he’s now traveling in Northern California.

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Hitch-Hiker with a Hatchet Stops Through Northern California

Kai, the ‘home-free’ hitchhiker who help save a life in Fresno, has made his way to northern California.


A homeless hitchhiker who achieved Internet celebrity by acting as a Good Samaritan with a hatchet is now being sought by police as a murder suspect in a separate case, New Jersey authorities said Thursday.

Caleb Lawrence McGillvary, 24, is known on Facebook and YouTube as “Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker.” He is now facing a murder charge in Union County, New Jersey, which is also offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to his arrest, authorities said.

McGillvary received national attention after CNN affiliate KMPH interviewed him about a February hitchhiking experience in which he used a hatchet to subdue the driver who claimed to be Jesus and struck a utility worker with his car, then grabbed a woman as she provided help at the scene in Fresno, California.

The utility worker underwent surgery for non-life-threatening injuries, and the driver, who stood more than 6 feet tall and weighed at least 300 pounds, was arrested, the affiliate said.

With long hair sweeping out of a bandana, McGillvary provided a dramatic account of the rescue and gestured he wielded the hatchet against the rampaging motorist in a “Smash! Smash! Sa-mash!” manner, he told the affiliate. He spoke in the patois of a surfer.

The female bystander, apparently not injured, confirmed the incident in an interview with KMPH. McGillvary’s Facebook page says that “Kai saved a womans life by cleaving a man in the head, with a hatchet, after he had just hit someone with his car.” McGillvary’s story was featured on “The Colbert Report” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” the affiliate said.

McGillvary is facing a murder charge in the death of Joseph Galfy Jr., according to a statement by Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow. The murder charge against McGillvary carries a bail of $3 million, he said.

Authorities found Galfy dead in his home in Clark, New Jersey, on Monday, and autopsy showed he died as a result of blunt force trauma, the prosecutor said.

McGillvary also goes by the names Kai Lawrence, Caleb Kai Lawrence and Kai Nicodemus, authorities said. He has cut his hair to alter his appearance and was last seen at a light rail station in Haddonfield, New Jersey, Romankow said.

McGillvary is homeless but calls himself “homefree,” authorities said.

“Authorities believe that McGillvary relies on the generosity of strangers for food, lodging and transportation,” the prosecutor said in a statement. “He is considered to be armed and dangerous.”

By Michael Martinez

™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Local News

Viral Video Hitchhiker Getting Celebrity Treatment in Lathrop


A FOX40 viewer in Lathrop snapped this picture with Kai the hitchhiker.


A hitchhiker has become a household name after an animated interview about coming to the rescue of a driver, and is a little bit of a local celebrity.

A FOX40 viewer saw Kai near I-5 and Lathrop Road Tuesday, and snapped this picture of him.

Local News

Hitchhiker Hero Becomes Huge YouTube Hit


A hitchhiker’s interview with Fresno FOX affiliate KMPH has had millions of views on YouTube, and he’s now traveling in Northern California.

As KMPH reported over the weekend, Kai the hitchhiker (no last name given) came to the rescue of innocent victims after a man who was giving him a ride became insanely violent.

The driver hit a PG&E worker with his car, and then got out and started grabbing people who were trying to help the injured victim.  So Kai repeatedly hit the attacker with a hatchet that he kept in his backpack, according to his statements in the interview.  Kai’s actions injured the man enough to subdue him until police and paramedics arrived.

The bizarre story is very colorfully told by Kai in the profanity-laced interview.  But there is also something inspiring about this young man who says he is not homeless, but home-free.

“Before I say anything else, I want to say, no matter what you’ve done, you deserve respect,” he says near the start of the interview.

“Even if you make mistakes, you’re lovable.  And it doesn’t matter your looks, skills, age, size or anything, you’re worthwhile.  No one can ever take that away from you.”

On Monday of this week, Kai posted on facebook that he was camping in a field in Lathrop.  There is no telling how internet fame will change his life.