ELIZABETH, N.J. -- Life on the run for the Internet sensation known as Kai the hatchet-wielding hitchhiker ended when he wanted a cup of coffee.
An employee at a Starbucks in Philadelphia was credited yesterday with recognizing 24-year-old YouTube celebrity Caleb "Kai" McGillvary, accused in the beating death of a New Jersey lawyer nearly three times his age.
The pair met in Times Square last weekend and went to the home of Joseph Galfy Jr., 73. On Monday, Galfy was found beaten to death in his bedroom, wearing only socks and underwear. McGillvary was arrested Thursday in Philadelphia and charged with his murder.
The drifter gained fame in February after intervening in an attack on a California utility worker. In a TV news interview that went viral, with 3.9 million YouTube views, he gave a rambling, profanity-laced account about using a hatchet he was carrying to repeatedly hit a man who had struck a worker with his car, fending off a further attack.
On Thursday, McGillvary went into a Starbucks. The employee who waited on him recognized him and called 911.
"Being on YouTube too much," Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said, "is not always a good thing."
McGillvary took off before police arrived -- and without his coffee. But an officer found him in a nearby bus terminal.
McGillvary was being held on $3 million bail and awaited extradition yesterday on charges in Galfy's killing.
McGillvary's last Facebook post, dated Tuesday, asks "what would you do?" if you awoke in a stranger's house and found you'd been drugged and sexually assaulted.
One commenter suggests hitting him with a hatchet -- and McGillvary's final comment on the post says, "I like your idea."