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NYPD officer's act of kindness goes viral

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 09:25 a.m. HST, Nov 29, 2012

NEW YORK » A tourist's 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 this afternoon, and over 100,000 shared it.

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 today 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. "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 was watching."

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, who is assigned to the Sixth Precinct and lives on Long Island, 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."

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kk808 wrote:
A true act of kindness.
on November 29,2012 | 08:38AM
nuuanusam wrote:
Story that makes you feel good!
on November 29,2012 | 08:43AM
NuuanuMama wrote:
One small human gesture, one big step for humanity.
on November 29,2012 | 09:06AM
MakaniKai wrote:
"warms da heart" ;)
on November 29,2012 | 09:08AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
A great story of human kindness. One that should be shared so that others may benefit from it. Brought tears to my eyes. We need more stories like this to remind us that even our little actions mean a lot to others. I tend to forget the little things as I am wrapped up with the chores of the day; things that I should be thankful for. Not to toot my horn but I helped a person from becoming homeless. Someone that was supposed to help her with the situation dropped the ball and put the paperwork in her desk resulting in her situation. That person's thanks was worth a million to me because it made me feel good. Maybe others can share their experience here?
on November 29,2012 | 09:50AM
Carang_da_buggahz wrote:
This is the true spirit of Christmas. God Bless these two men.
on November 29,2012 | 10:47AM
awahana wrote:
Not to put a damper on this story, but we need more examples of this in the Aloha State.
on November 29,2012 | 11:14AM
localgirl2 wrote:
Makes me think of Jesus doing so much for the downtrodden. This man is an angel wearing a cops uniform. Bless you kind Sir.
on November 29,2012 | 11:57AM
telebit wrote:
Thank you for sharing this heart warming story. The picture says it alll. Our Aloha to both men.
on November 29,2012 | 12:11PM
mamasia wrote:
Such a nice story! God Bless both of them!
on November 29,2012 | 01:18PM
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