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Heroic California hatchet-wielding hitchhiker gains viral fame

February 6, 2013 |  2:12 pm

Kai – a heroic hatchet-wielding homeless hitchhiker – has a Facebook page.

So those behind a fund-raising effort to buy him a surfboard (almost $500 raised thus far) have made contact with him somewhere in Northern California.

But it was in Fresno that Kai's meteoric rise to fame via viral video began.

On Friday, a man giving Kai a ride claimed to be God, made racist comments and drove into a black PG&E worker, injuring the man.

In the ensuing chaos, the driver attacked a woman who ran to help. A kinetic Kai described to a local KMPH television news reporter how he then saved the day by coming up behind the very large driver and hitting him with his hatchet: "Smash, Smash, SmAAaash!!!"

The video received more than a million hits.

"SmAAaash!!!" may have been the most repeated word in the Central Valley over the weekend.

And Steven Colbert ran the piece with his trademark commentary, noting that the young man's heroics had forced him to rethink his previous prejudice against hitchhikers with axes.

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-- Diana Marcum in Fresno

 

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