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Hatchet-wielding Hitchhiker Arrested; Car Plunges into Motel Pool; Candid Photos Versus Personal Privacy

Aired May 17, 2013 - 05:30   ET



CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Next, sister Samantha Alexander approached the podium, crying even before she spoke.

SAMANTHA ALEXANDER, SISTER OF TRAVIS ALEXANDER: Travis was our strength. Our constant beacon of hope. Our motivation. And his presence has been ripped from our lives.

WIAN: Defense witnesses are expected to speak about several mitigating factors that could spare Arias' life. Including her lack of a criminal past. Her past efforts to convert to the Mormon faith and her talent as an artist.

KIRK NURMI, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: This is a girl right here. That you pledged when you were selected as jurors that after hearing or after possibly convicting her of first-degree murder and finding aggravating factors, that you would consider giving Miss Arias life.

WIAN (on camera): In a trial full of gripping moments, one of the last is likely to come from Jodi Arias herself next week when she's expected to beg for mercy from a jury that has already convicted her of an especially cruel first-degree murder.

Casey Wian, CNN, Phoenix.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: We're learning new information about Cleveland kidnapping and rape suspect, Ariel Castro, and his love of dogs. Last night Cleveland reporter Ed Gallek told CNN's Piers Morgan about a Chihuahua that was found in the car the night that Castro was arrested. Two other dogs, terrier-poodle mixes. were found inside the house. They've since been cleaned up, spayed and neutered.

The FBI is asking the Cleveland dog warden to hang onto the dogs for a while so they can eventually ask the women who were held hostage if they would like to claim the dogs as pets. That's interesting.

A new trust fund to benefit Cleveland kidnapping survivors, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and her daughter, has already taken in more than $480,000. The trust was established by members of the Cleveland City Council. More than 5100 individual donations have come in from all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., even several foreign countries. To make an online donation to the Cleveland Courage Funds, go to

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: The Internet celebrity who gained fame as Kai, the hatchet-wielding hitchhiker, is behind bars in Philadelphia this morning. He is now accused of murder. The homeless hitchhiker appeared on late-night talk shows earlier this year for his really colorful rants.

Remember this is about coming to the rescue of a woman by hitting her attacker with a hatchet. But now he's on the other side of the law. Charged with the brutal beating death of a New Jersey lawyer.


SAMBOLIN (voice-over): From heroic hitchhiker to alleged murder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Smash, smash, smash.

SAMBOLIN: Caleb McGillvary, better known as Kai, the hatchet-wielding hitchhiker, is behind bars in Philadelphia, accused of beating a New Jersey lawyer to death inside his home. Earlier this year Kai skyrocketed to viral video stardom after this rambling TV interview captured the lively hitchhiker describing how he saved two victims from a deranged attacker.

CALEB MCGILLVARY, "KAI THE HITCHHIKER": So I (EXPLETIVE DELETED) ran up behind him with a hatchet, smash, smash, smash.

SAMBOLIN: That interview amassed close to four million views on YouTube. Kai even made a hilarious cameo on "Jimmy Kimmel."

JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": Hey, you're Kai. You're that dude with the hatchet.

SAMBOLIN: Four months after being hailed a hero, the homeless hitchhiker became the subject of a massive manhunt for allegedly killing 73-year-old New Jersey attorney Joseph Galfy, Jr.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This man was well known and that doesn't mean that he did not or could not be become involved in a crime.

SAMBOLIN: On the run since Monday, Kai took this picture. His long hair cut off, police say to try and conceal his identity. Police say Galfy drove to New York City to pick Kai up last Saturday and then spent the weekend at Galfy's home. Kai's last post on Facebook appears to indicate that their encounter was sexual in nature.

Police are still investigating exactly what happened. Until more is known, the Internet's infamous hitchhiker is off the streets and behind bars.


SAMBOLIN: Crazy story. The beating victim was a well-respected attorney with more than 40 years experience in New Jersey. Horrible. BERMAN: Wow. New hope for immigration reform this morning. A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House have reached a tentative deal. This breakthrough came after a two-hour private meeting. Sources say the final sticking point is whether illegal immigrants or undocumented immigrants now in the U.S. who gained legal status under the bill can participate in the president's new healthcare law which Republicans want to repeal. The agreement still needs to be drafted into legislation.

SAMBOLIN: Video you need to see this morning. This is incredible, a surveillance camera showing the moment a runaway car crashes into a motel parking lot.

Brandon Beyer with CNN affiliate WSVN has the story from Ft. Lauderdale.


BILL MACK, BUILDING OWNER: There was something, she hit something, maybe the accelerator, I don't know what she did, but she flew into that car.

BRANDON BEYER, WSVN REPORTER: A car whizzing down A1A in Ft. Lauderdale going the wrong way, slams into a parked vehicle, pushing it into a hotel pool.

MACK: I thought maybe she was just in a hurry to get out of the way when she saw the cars coming. But I don't think she knew where she was going.

BEYER: Where she was going, it was caught on camera first by an apartment complex. Watch the white car speeding northbound in the southbound lanes of A1A. Slow it down here the black car is pulling into a parking spot. A head-on collision narrowly avoided.

MACK: Laying on the ground. Somebody pulled her out of the car.

BEYER: Bill Mack owns the building.

MACK: She kept coming here along here. And went right up into the sidewalk here. And kept going and hit the meter, the traffic light box and a pole. Kind of went a few feet off the ground. Airborne. And hit the car, parked car by the motel and drove it into the pool.

BEYER: The second surveillance cameras belonged to the hotel where the car ends up in the pool. They picked the runaway car up just as it smashes into the traffic box, and then rams a parked car never even tapping the brakes.

So the fence, these giant potted plants, not even this half-foot curb, any sort of match for the car which comes careening all the way through down to the bottom of the pool.

It took a crane to lift the car out and the pool? Just a mess. Half a tree left floating. Only way to clean it? Drain the whole thing. In the end, this driver ended up in the hospital. She's lucky, though, no one was killed.


SAMBOLIN: Including her.

All right. That was Brandon Beyer from our affiliate WSVN reporting for us this morning.

BERMAN: We have some more dramatic video we want to show you this morning. A raging inferno following a car accident and rescue in Kansas. Two men who were unconscious inside a Corvette, it crashed into a truck, rescued by a passerby.

Jim Russell says it was all adrenaline that helped him and another man pull the victims out. Look at that fire burning. After pulling the men out, Russell recorded video of the fire that destroyed both vehicles. Both men, which is great, are doing OK this morning.

SAMBOLIN: Wow. That's incredible.

All right. A couple of alleged car thieves making the police's job all too easy. Police in Fresno, California say one of the suspects butt-dialed 911. The whole episode was recorded by the emergency dispatcher. During the course of the 35-minute call, the suspects talk about smoking marijuana, how they will break into the car. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want to smoke weed so bad right now. Give the bolt and give me the hammer just in case. Smash. We'll go back and search in a little bit and search the whole thing. But we'll park far away, you know?



BERMAN: Criminal genius at work right there.


SAMBOLIN: Stupid criminal file.

All right, soon enough one of the suspects noticed that they were being followed by police who pulled them over and swiftly took them into custody.

BERMAN: I wonder if butt-dialing is like -- you know, a good defense in California?

All right. Ahead controversy over these photos taking a swanky New York apartment building. Is this art? Or is this invasion of privacy?

SAMBOLIN: And that heartwarming surprise for a little girl at last night's Tampa Bay Rays game. This will put a smile on your face this morning.


BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone. So how is this for a question? Is there a point when art violates personal privacy? Residents of one New York City apartment building have discovered that they're part of a photography exhibit, only they didn't know they were being photographed.


BERMAN (voice-over): In the 1954 classic, "Rear Window" Jimmy Stewart took photos of his neighbors in another building in part because he was bored. Now a New York photographer says he took photos of people living across the street for art.

From his second-floor apartment, photographer Arne Svenson was able to peer inside the apartments of residents living across the street without their knowledge. The result? Intimate moments captured in photos. A couple eating breakfast. A man taking a nap. A woman in a rocking chair. And now some of the photos' subjects are furious about having their privacy violated.

MARIEL CREO, SUBJECT OF GALLERY PHOTOS: In my case it was my bedroom. So, you know, I change here, you know, I do a lot of things here. And you know -- to know that somebody was not only looking at me, but photographing me.

BERMAN: Mariel Creo, seen here, says she felt extremely vulnerable because she has a young child.

CREO: The biggest concern is that a 60-year-old man was, you know, observing us including minors.

BERMAN: Even more infuriating for the unwilling subjects, Svenson could profit big time from these photos. They're being sold for up to $8400 each. The photographer would not be interviewed, but said this in a statement. "For my subjects, there is no question of privacy. They're performing behind a transparent scrim on a stage of their own creation, with the curtain raised high."

And the owner of the gallery where the photos are being shown says that the photographer was extremely careful not to reveal the identity of his subjects.

JULIE SAUL, GALLERY OWNER: Somebody has asked me, have the people in these photographs come into the gallery, I would have no idea, no one would. You could never recognize and Arnie was very cognizant of that.

BERMAN: Privacy experts say the residents may actually have little legal recourse.

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: They have to be able to prove that the pictures are identifiable. That's the starting point for a lawsuit in New York. I don't see it in most of these pictures. (END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: So the question is, can the people in the photos sue the artist for selling their images? Attorney Paul Callan who you saw in the piece says New York does have a criminal statute that will protect people from being filmed for sexual purposes. But that clearly is not involved in the situation. Paul says a subject could see if their face was identifiable, but he doesn't even think that that's applicable in this case so it doesn't seem like this made legal grounds.

SAMBOLIN: It still feels like such an invasion of privacy, though.

BERMAN: Well, someone asked me, just want to say something interesting. Imagine the photos that he didn't sell. Imagine the pictures that he might have taken or what he actually saw.


BERMAN: Kind of creepy, right?

SAMBOLIN: It is very creepy.

All right. Forty-four minutes past the hour. A pizza delivery man is accused of making really special deliveries -- cocaine. New York Police say 45-year-old Ramon Rodriguez made 19 sales to an undercover officer in full Papa John's gear. In one case, they say a pizza box actually contained a kilo of cocaine for $27,500. Another man identified as Jonathan Martinez also faces drug charges. Police say Rodriguez set up a meeting for Martinez with an undercover officer.

BERMAN: Getting caught with his hand in a cookie jar just made a suburban Chicago man $4.8 million richer. Ricardo Cerezo cleaned out a cookie jar filled with a few months' worth of lottery tickets. He took them to his local convenience store to scan them and one of them popped up a big winner.



RICARDO CEREZO, LOTTO WINNER: When I realized we had all six numbers, it was that shocking moment of, whoa, can this really be? So I called my son over and I asked him to double check this. And he looks it through and goes yup, it looks like a winner.





BERMAN: So that stroke of luck -- I hate that man. That stroke of luck couldn't come at a better time. Cerezo's home -- good for him. His home was on the verge of foreclosure.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. $4.8 million. That is fantastic.

BERMAN: Good for him. So -- the lesson here, check your cookie jars, everyone.


SAMBOLIN: All right. So take a look at the new waffle taco. Taco Bell is testing it out in three California stores. For 89 cents you get a sausage patty, scrambled eggs and they're folded right there into a waffle. If you're really feeling bold wash it down with the chain's new Mountain Dew AM. That's Mountain Dew mixed with orange juice.

BERMAN: That sounds gross. But the taco looks awesome.

SAMBOLIN: It looks really good. I would have that for breakfast.

BERMAN: Right now. If you happen to want to send it over, we might eat it.

SAMBOLIN: We'll take it. We'll take it. We'll sample for you.

Coming up, Powerball madness spreads across the nation. This jackpot is unbelievable, how high is it? But the big question is, how high will it go?


BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. The man fired from the IRS over a scandal for targeting conservatives, he is testifying today. This will be a big day.

Steven Miller, the acting head of the IRS was forced out this week. And today a House committee will grill him about why he didn't tell Congress about the political targeting.

One of President Obama's top lieutenants Dan Werfel will take over as interim head of the IRS now.

SAMBOLIN: And President Obama is summoning his top Pentagon brass to the White House to address this growing problem of sexual assaults in the military. He's ordering them to come up with a plan to stem all of the abuse. This comes as the head of a Sexual Assault Prevention Unit at Fort Bell, Kentucky, was arrested. Lieutenant Colonel Darren, charged with violating a court order to leave his wife alone. He is the third military official in two weeks to be relieved of duty over an allegation of sexual misconduct.

BERMAN: A troubling development overnight. Russia is sending advanced anti-ship cruise missiles to Syria. U.S. officials say it's a sign that shows Moscow's support for President Bashar al-Assad's regime. "The New York Times" reports that the missiles have advanced radar capabilities that can help the Syrian regime stop foreign forces from establishing no-fly zones. They can also stop limited air strikes potentially or supply Syria's opposition -- stop supply of Syria's opposition from the air.

SAMBOLIN: So a new outbreak of lotto fever causing the Powerball jackpot to swell to $550 million for tomorrow night's drawing. That's $550 million, folks.

BERMAN: That's a swollen jackpot.


SAMBOLIN: It's the second biggest prize in Powerball history and third largest lottery jackpot overall. And people are not done buying so who knows, right?

BERMAN: The lines will be forming early this morning.

SAMBOLIN: Incredible. Yes.

BERMAN: All right. Bracing for more severe weather this weekend. This could be serious.

SAMBOLIN: It is the center of the country that may be under the gun this time. Meteorologist Jennifer Delgado joins us now from the CNN Weather Center.

Good morning, Jennifer.

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, guys, you're right, millions of people could be under the gun this weekend as more severe weather is expected to arrive. Let's start off with images coming out of Texas. This is out of Granbury. We do know now -- let me show some of these video -- that reportedly there were 16 tornadoes. This is according to the National Weather Service Dallas office yesterday.

And the one in Granbury was actually an EF4, that's winds 166-200 miles per hour. That's why we saw these homes being taken off the frame.

As I take you over to our graphic, to make things worse for areas in Texas right now just to the south of Dallas, including Granbury, looking at some showers and thunderstorms there, a lot of that is going to come to an end right around noon and then some scattered shower and thunderstorm activity across areas including Tennessee, as well as into northern parts of Mississippi and the East Coast looking pretty quiet for this morning.

But a lot of the action as I said is really going to heat up for Saturday, Sunday and Monday. And we're talking about a real potential for more tornadoes to just like what we saw out of Texas. Here it is on Saturday, the area in gold, and then another slight risk on Sunday as well as into Monday. And we're also talking about even straight- line winds, not even talking about just tornadoes.

But for today, sunshine is going to be building through parts of the central part of the U.S. and then severe storms anywhere you're seeing and northern parts of Mississippi. High temperatures today will generally be in the 80s and the 90s, and certainly it's going to be a lot warmer down towards the south. It's also going to be quite humid for areas like Texas as well as right along the coastline.

Guys, we'll send it back over to you but for New York today, high of 72 degrees.



All right, Jennifer, thanks so much.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you.

DELGADO: You're welcome.

BERMAN: Coming up, the special first pitch at last night's Tampa Bay Rays game. This was simply lovely. How a surprise catcher threw this little girl a big curve. Wait until you find out who he is.


BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. Trending this morning, a nice surprise for fans of "The Office." So despite denials that Michael Scott would not be part of the season finale --




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't believe you came. That's what you said.


BERMAN: OK. So after Steve Carell did show up last night, he originally left the series after season seven to concentrate on making movies. This (INAUDIBLE) off as the Dunder-Mifflin Company closed for good.

SAMBOLIN: That is your kind of humor.


So this will make your heart melt. A dad secretly returns from serving in Afghanistan, surprising his little girl right after she throws out the first pitch at a Tampa Bay Rays game. And get this, look at that. Look, he's the catcher.

Elena Adams said she thought there was something weird about how he caught the ball, then Lieutenant Colonel Will Adams lifted his mask. Adams was stationed in Afghanistan for most of the past two years.

BERMAN: Oh my goodness. SAMBOLIN: Folks, that is a beautiful moment that we get to enjoy, tears flowed after the pitch and Rays fans gave the whole family a standing ovation.

BERMAN: Good for them. What a picture.

SAMBOLIN: That is --

BERMAN: So happy for them.

SAMBOLIN: Beautiful story on this Friday morning. So to check out other top CNN Trends, head to

BERMAN: EARLY START continues right now.

SAMBOLIN: That's sweet.

BERMAN: On hot seat, the fired head of the IRS testifies today about why conservative groups were targeted by his agency and whether he lied about it.

SAMBOLIN: Shameful? And disgraceful. The president calling the military sex scandals a danger to national security.

BERMAN: Surreal and extensive damage. People in the areas hardest hit by tornados in Texas not even allowed back home this morning and the search is under way still for seven people who are missing.

SAMBOLIN: And we have a lot of Powerball frenzy as well, more than half a billion dollars simply up for grabs. The second biggest pot in Powerball history.

Do you have your ticket yet?

BERMAN: Heading out. Just after the show.

SAMBOLIN: No kidding. I'll join you.

BERMAN: All right. Good morning, everyone, welcome to EARLY START, I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. It is Friday, May 17th -- just about 6:00 a.m. in the East.

BERMAN: And developing this morning, the man fired from the IRS over a scandal targeting conservatives, he's going to face a lot of tough questions today.

Steven Miller, the acting head of the IRS, was forced out this week. And today a House committee will grill him about why he did not tell Congress about the political targeting even though he apparently knew about it for a while.

Here's CNN's Dan Lothian with the latest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Three days after the White House Counsel's Office was first notified of the IRS targeting conservative groups, Steve Miller, the acting commissioner forced to resign, sat before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee but he wasn't talking then about the scandal. It was a friendly encounter. A routine update on the agency's proposed budget.

STEVE MILLER, FORMER IRS ACTING COMMISSIONER: My testimony outlines the recent accomplishments.