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NYC Cop Buys Boots for Homeless Barefoot Man on Street

03 Dec

This story was reported on Huffington Post after a tourist snapped this photo and posted it, causing a viral sensation. Twenty-five year old NYPD Officer Larry DePrimo came across a barefoot man one frigid, Manhattan night, on Seventh Ave near 44th Street.

He’s reported to have said, "I had two pairs of wool winter socks and combat boots, and I was cold," so he asked him if he’d like some shoes and socks.  

The man replied, "I never had a pair of shoes," according to DePrimo, who's assigned to the Sixth Precinct and has been on the force nearly three years.

So he walked over to a shoe store on 42nd Street and shelled out $75 for insulated winter boots and thermal socks. He returned to the man, knelt down and put the footwear on him.

"He smiled from ear to ear," DePrimo said. "It was like you gave him a million dollars."

The officer asked the man if he wanted a cup of coffee, but he declined and went on his way.

"I didn't think anything of it," DePrimo said of his kindness.

But during dinner that night, he got a text message from a friend. The photo had gone viral.

"I was absolutely shocked," he said.
I see random acts of kindness like this on the streets of New York all the time, along with all the cranky, impatient, smartass behavior you’re more likely to hear about.  Underneath those prickly exteriors, cultivated with such wit and pride, there is usually a big heart to be found.  I love that.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award