‘Kai, the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker’ became a viral star. Now he’s on trial for murder.

‘Kai, the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker’ became a viral star. Now he’s on trial for murder.

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A 2013 clip of a young hitchhiker became a viral internet sensation. ( Jessob Reisbeck/Jessob Reisbeck) April 9 at 5:27 AM It took a little under six minutes of screen time to launch Kai into the upper stratosphere of Internet fame. It was February 2013. A local news station in Fresno, Calif., was on the hunt for a young hitchhiker who had reportedly saved pedestrians from an attacker. When a reporter and camera person found the young man, he only said his name was “Kai." “Do you have a last name?” the interviewer asked. “Nah, bro, ” the hitchhiker said. “I don’t have anything.” Wild long hair snagged in a bandanna and mouth leaking enough four-letter words to bury a broadcaster in FCC fines, he narrated how he took out the rampaging attacker after the man assaulted two women. “He runs up and he grabs one of them, man. Like a guy that big can snap a woman’s neck like a pencil stick! So I [expletive] ran up behind him with a hatchet, ” the hitchhiker told the interviewer. .


“Smash! Smash! Smash!” he added pantomiming the attack. “It was [expletive] gnarly man. It was like the biggest wave I’ve ever ridden.” An Internet sensation was born. The original video of “Kai the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker” has since racked up more than 7 million views on YouTube. Countless remixes of his interview were made. Fan pages sprouted up. .

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