A photo taken by Jennifer Foster shows New York City Police Officer Larry DePrimo presenting a barefoot homeless man in New York's Time Square with boots. Foster was visiting New York with her husband on Nov. 14, when she came across the pair.
NEW YORK (AP) -
snapshot of a New York City police officer giving new boots to a
barefoot homeless man in Times Square has created an online sensation.
Jennifer Foster, of
Florence, Ariz., was visiting New York with her boyfriend on Nov. 14,
when she came across the shoeless man asking for change in Times Square.
As she was about to
approach him, she said the officer - identified as Larry DePrimo - came
up to the man with a pair of all-weather boots and thermal socks on the
frigid night. She recorded his generosity on her cellphone.
It was posted Tuesday night
to the NYPD's official Facebook page and became an instant hit. More
than 360,000 users "liked" it as of Thursday afternoon, and over 100,000
Thousands of people commented, including one person who praised him as "An officer AND a Gentleman."
The photo shows the officer kneeling beside the man with the boots at his feet. A shoe store is seen in the background.
The NYPD Facebook page on
Thursday posted a comment from DePrimo saying, "I didn't think anything
of it," and updated it with a photo of DePrimo taken in 2011.
"I have these size 12 boots
for you, they are all-weather. Let's put them on and take care of you,"
Foster quoted DePrimo as saying to the homeless man.
She wrote: "The officer
squatted down on the ground and proceeded to put socks and the new boots
on this man. The officer expected NOTHING in return and did not know I
Foster, who is a dispatch
manager at the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, said she's worked in law
enforcement for 17 years and has never been more impressed.
"His presentation of human
kindness has not been lost on myself or any of the Arizona law
enforcement officials with whom this story has been shared," Foster
wrote on Facebook. She said she never got the officer's name.
DePrimo is assigned to the
Sixth Precinct, encompassing Greenwich Village and the West Village, and
lives on Long Island. He told Newsday that the homeless man "smiled
from ear to ear" after getting the boots.
"It was like you gave him a million dollars," he added.
He told The New York Times
that he keeps the receipt for the boots in his vest to remind him "that
sometimes people have it worse."
2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not
be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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