A self-described "homefree" hitchhiker, who became a viral sensation on the Internet in February and was wanted for the bludgeoning death of a New Jersey attorney he allegedly met in Times Square this week, was arrested at a Center City bus depot Thursday evening.
Philadelphia police said someone in the Starbucks at 10th and Chestnut streets recognized the man and alerted them. Center City District officers went to the Starbucks, but "Kai" had already left. They later tracked him down at the Greyhound Bus terminal near 11th and Filbert streets around 6 p.m. and arrested him, according to a source.
YouTube viewers know him as "Kai, the hatchet-wielding hitchhiker." He became an instant star after he said he saved the life of a woman from a homicidal man who believed he was Jesus. His interview with with a Fresno television reporter turned him into a celebrity.
Union County prosecutor Theodore Romankow said he would be processed and sent to New Jersey in the coming days. A judge has already set bail in Union County at $3 million.
"I believe that everyone is a little safer with this person off the streets," Romankow said in a statement.
DRPA spokesman Tim Ireland said Thursday that Kai, whose real name Caleb Lawrence McGillvary, had spent Wednesday night with either close friends or family in Glassboro, and this morning asked his hosts for $250, a Greyhound bus ticket and a ride to the train station in Woodcrest.
After seeing McGillvary off at the station, his hosts called the Cherry Hill police, who contacted the Delaware River Port Authority Ireland said. DRPA police checked surveillance video from the Woodcrest station, saw a figure resembling the celebrated hitchhiker and contacted Philadelphia police with the info that McGillvary would likely be heading for the Greyhound station.
Earlier in the week, a surveillance camera captured images of the encounter between Kai and attorney Joseph Galfy, of Clark, N.J. The men later went back to the older man's house, officials said.
In a post made Tuesday to his Facebook page, Kai claims he was raped.
what would you do if you woke up with a groggy head, metallic taste in your mouth, in a strangers house... walked to the mirror and seen ... dripping from the side of your face from your mouth, and started wretching, realizing that someone had drugged, raped...? what would you do?
At a press conference, New Jersey officials said Kai had reached out to some fans in South Jersey. Those fans dropped him off on Tuesday at the train station. He told them he was first heading to Philadelphia and then going to see a girlfriend in Georgia.
PATCO officials said they had no knowledge of the suspect at one of their stations.
In an effort to avoid detection, officials said, Kai has cut his hair. He also sports a recently acquired facial tattoo.
Galfy was found unresponsive Monday in his Clark, NJ, home. An autopsy revealed he died of blunt force trauma, according to the Union County Prosecutor's office.
In early February, Kai told KMPH-TV in Fresno, that he was a passenger riding in an Oldsmobile when the driver snapped and drove into an electric company worker "because he was black."
According to Kai, the man said "I come to realize I'm Jesus Christ and I can do anything if I want."
When bystanders rushed to the worker's aid, the man, who Kai described as a "fat, rich white guy" to Jimmy Kimmel, began to crush one of them. Kai said he feared he would snap the woman's neck.
"So I ran up behind him with a hatchet and Smash! Smash! SUH-MASH!," he told KMPH.
"That woman was in danger. He had just finished what looked like at the time, killing somebody and if I hadn't done that he would have killed more people."
Anyone with information is asked to call (908) 654-TIPS (8477), visit www.uctip.org, or text UCTIP plus a message 274637.
Here, below, is the VIDEO of Kai on "Jimmy Kimmel Live":
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