Kai said he decided to go behind McBride and hit him in the head with a hatchet.
Kai eventually knocked out McBride, who is described as 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighing about 290 pounds, according to jail records. Police arrested McBride and charged him with attempted first-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder. He was being held in police custody on Tuesday.
The PG&E worker was taken to a nearby hospital with a broken leg and will recover, according to The News Tribune, a Fresno newspaper. Kai was questioned by sheriff's deputies and later released.
Kai said he's been hitchhiking and riding railcars around California in search of big waves to surf.
When asked why he was so selfless, Kai said, "I don't have any family. As far as anybody I grew up with knows, I'm already dead. So whatever."
Sophia is also the hometown of the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., the nation's longest-serving member of Congress.
Reach Travis Crum at travis.c...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.