A photo of a NYPD cop helping a barefoot homeless man on a frigid November night by buying him new boots and socks went viral on the web and captured the hearts of thousands for his random act of kindness. On Friday, when asked on NBC’s Today show about why he felt compelled to buy new boots for a homeless man he saw sitting on the sidewalk near Times Square, NYPD Patrolman Lawrence DePrimo said, “The two things that really stuck out in my mind that night was just how cold it was and that this was the most polite gentleman I ever met, and I knew I had to help him”.
Jennifer Foster, a tourist visiting New York from Arizona, witnessed DePrimo squatting down on the ground and putting socks and shoes on the homeless man and she told the Today show that the “man’s face lit up like it was Christmas and like he had been literally given a million dollars”. Foster, without DePrimo’s knowledge, took a snapshot of the officer’s generosity and sent it to the NYPD, which then posted the picture to its Facebook page, where it instantly became a hit, and garnered more than 430,000 likes. Foster, who worked for 17 years in law enforcement as a dispatch manager for a sheriff’s office in Arizona, said, “I knew what I was looking at. I knew it was remarkable”.
The 25-year-old cop was on counterterrorism patrol the night of 14 November when he discovered the homeless man, who had blisters on his feet. DePrimo said that he stopped and asked the man, “‘Where’s your socks, where’s your shoes?’ He was like, ‘It’s OK, officer; I never had a pair of shoes'”. Then, DePrimo went to a nearby shoe store and bought the man a pair of socks and boots with 75 USD (2,320 Roubles. 58 Euros. 47 UK Pounds) of his own money, and said that he keeps the receipt as an “important reminder that some people have it worse”. DePrimo found that his new fame is “surreal” and “humbling”, saying, “It’s a great experience. I think it’s a lot about the people, though, because you see such great comments. People are saying that their faith in humanity is restored and that’s the biggest thing that I can take away from all of this”.
30 November 2012
Probably, DePrimo’s from one of the nabes that tourists never penetrate… Bensonhurst, Howard Beach, South Ozone, or Broad Channel… people are solid there. The world isn’t degenerating… distrust all who say such… most of them have an agenda. Of course, the chattering class and the political class are crank to the bone, but they’re not “the world”, are they (but they do hog most of the attention of the media and are insufferable boors to boot)? Real life goes on beneath all the hoopla… this is proof of that. Have a swig from the jug, Larry; you gave a ton of people a shot in the arm. Thanks…