By Jim Walsh, 5-17-13 (Contributing Reporter: Andy McNeil)
KILLER ON THE ROAD?
HADDONFIELD, N.J. — An Internet celebrity-turned-homicide suspect was arrested in Philadelphia on Thursday, two days after he was reportedly spotted in New Jersey.
Caleb “Kai” McGillvary, who gained fame online as the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker, was taken into custody around 6:30 p.m. at a Greyhound bus station in Center City, authorities said.
McGillvary, accused of killing a North Jersey man Sunday, was last seen Tuesday at “a light-rail station in (the) Haddonfield, N.J., area,” according to the Union County Prosecutor’s Office.
McGillvary, a 24-year-old homeless man, had been considered armed and dangerous.
Delaware River Port Authority spokesman Tim Ireland said the suspect had spent a night in Gloucester County with close friends, who gave him $250 and drove him to the Woodcrest station of the PATCO Hi-Speedline. After dropping him off, however, the friends called police.
Surveillance cameras, Ireland said, showed the man boarding a westbound train. Alerted by the DRPA, Philadelphia police arrested McGillvary at the Filbert Street bus station.
McGillvary became a YouTube star after he claimed to have intervened in a Feb. 1 attack on two people in Fresno, Calif. In a TV news interview that went viral, McGillvary described in graphic but disjointed style how he wielded a hatchet against the alleged assailant, a man who had picked him up while hitchhiking.
Both the attacker and his victims survived the California incident.
McGillvary is accused of killing 73-year-old Joseph Galfy Jr. of Clark. The victim, an attorney, was found in his home around 2 p.m. Monday, when police were asked to check on his well-being. An autopsy on Tuesday determined Galfy died from blunt force trauma.
McGillvary posted a possible reference to the Clark assault on his Facebook page.
“What would you do if you woke up with a groggy head, metallic taste in your mouth, in a stranger’s house … realizing someone had drugged (and) raped (you)?” he wrote on Tuesday. “What would you do?”
Authorities said McGillvary relied on strangers for food, lodging and transportation.
Prior to his arrest, some people in Haddonfield expressed little concern over the fugitive’s possible presence.
“I actually would’ve been really hyped (to meet McGillvary),” said John Devine, an employee at Kinetic Skateboarding on Kings Highway. Devine noted he would have recognized McGillvary from Internet videos.
The suspect will be processed in Philadelphia and returned to New Jersey. Authorities said McGillvary’s bail was previously set at $3 million.
NJ police found the body of Joseph Galfy, an attorney and a member of the Clark Chamber of Commerce, on Monday in his home. Galfy was severely beaten (he died of blunt force trauma) and the Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow said Galfy was just wearing underwear and his socks.
According to the Star-Ledger, “They met, an unlikely pair, in Times Square last Saturday night… Their rendezvous, most of it later spent in and around Joseph Galfy Jr.’s ranch-style house on Starlite Drive in Clark, would last about 24 hours, until sometime Sunday evening when, authorities said, their encounter turned violent after a sexual tryst.”
On Tuesday, McGillvary had written on his Facebook page, “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 come dripping from the side of your face from your mouth, and started wretching, realizing that someone had drugged, raped, and blown their fuckin load in you? what would you do?” but prosecutor Theodore Romankow had called the status update “self-serving.”