Officer Lawrence DePrimo saw the man in New York City’s Time’s Square and went to a nearby Skechers shoe store to buy him a $75 pair of waterproof winter boots. “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,” DePrimo told the TODAY show.
He returned to give the man the shoes, and was snapped doing so by bystander, Jennifer Foster, who was visiting the city from Arizona. The photographer gave the image to the NYPD who posted it on their Facebook page, and 430,000 likes.
In honor of his good dead, DePrimo, 25, was given a pair of cuff links by New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, told the public via Twitter that DePrimo’s actions are an “important reminder to give back this holiday season.”
DePrimo credits his grandfather for inspiring him to give back, and keeps the receipt for the shoes in his vest as a reminder “that sometimes people have it worse.”
People have reported that the homeless man, has been seen without the shoes, suggesting that he sold them and that the department may have set-up the photo-op, which has not been substantiated, and seems ridiculous.
Click below to see the photo.