A hitchhiker researching a book on "The Kindness of America" is currently recovering in hospital after a gun-toting truck driver gave him a small donation of some searing hot lead.
Ray Dolin, was hitching on Highway 2 in Montana on Saturday as part of a project to produce a memoir on the great things about the open road in the big country.
Dolin was sitting on his backpack, just west of of the town of Glasgow early Saturday evening when a pickup truck slowed down.
However, rather than extending the offer of a ride, the driver extended a gun out of the window and shot Dolin in the arm.
The pickup truck then headed west, leaving Dolin to use his other arm to flag down a passing driver, who then notified the authorities.
"An intensive manhunt ensued," The Great Falls Tribune reports, until they got a report that a driver in a car matching the description given by Dolin had asked a local farmer for directions. The suspect, Lloyd Danielson of Washington State, was then pulled in by deputies in Culbertson, where he was taken to jail.
"It appears to be a random shooting. We don't know exactly what caused him to do it. He just drove up and shot him," Valley County Sheriff Glen Meier said.
Meier told the AP: "We're still the wonderful people in Montana we've always been, and we'll get through this."
Danielson did not enter a plea yesterday when he turned up in court to face charges of felony assault with a weapon and driving under the influence.
The Tribune reports that the suspect worked at the Bakken oilfield near Williston. However, it is not known whether his connection to the fossil fuel industry that prompted his alleged ire at a would-be car-pooler.
The AP reported that Dolin operates a website called OneShot Impressions, which apart from its unfortunate title features a logo with the cross-hairs of a rifle scope.
The comments page includes an entry from Mary from Wolf Point, Montana, expressing regret that she hadn't driven Dolin "Farther".
A nurse at the hospital where Dolin is recovering told the AP he was not taking calls yesterday, suggesting he's had his fill of kindness right now. ®