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Updated Nov 29, 2012 - 3:52 pm

Arizona woman touts NY cop’s generosity on Facebook

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

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

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 410,000 users “liked” it as of Thursday evening, and
more than 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 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

“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 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.

“I was just doing my job,” DePrimo told reporters later Thursday.

When asked about spending his own money on the boots, DePrimo said, “You just
don’t think about things like that.”

He said the night was really cold and he was wearing two pairs of socks and
combat boots.

“My feet were still freezing,” said DePrimo, who was clutching cufflinks he
had just gotten from Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

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.”


NYPD Facebook page:


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