A Long Island truck driver who picked up a hitchhiker in Tennessee found out that his passenger was wanted for murder back home. The Daily News reports that Manuel Velasco, who hadn't picked up a single hitchhiker in 15 years on the job, gave meals and a ride to 52-year-old Charles Kelly, who was ID'd as a potential murderer by Port Authority Police on the GW Bridge during an E-ZPass related stop. "The last thing I was expecting was for this guy to be a killer," Valesco told the Post. "He was so respectful."
Kelly is wanted in Tennessee for the murder of one of his friends, who was bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat, and also has outstanding theft and forgery charges. Kelly told Valesco that he had four kids, was recently laid off, and was looking for work. "All I did was try to help him out, like I'd do for anyone," Valesco said, explaining his decision to invite Kelly into his family's home twice for dinner.
A Port Authority spokesman said that police found a knife in Valesco's glove compartment that Kelly may have put there, a detail that will no doubt become more prominent as Valesco's story is related to drivers ed classes across the state. Hitchhikers: great when they're John Waters, not so great when they're accused murderers.