The story of the NYPD officer who bought a pair of boots for a homeless man is not over. The Times hunted down the homeless man and was surprised to find that he was still walking around barefoot.
The photo of officer Lawrence DePrimo purchasing a pair of $100 Sketchers North boots for Jeffrey Hillman went viral last week after it was posted on the NYPD's Facebook page, but Hillman refuses to wear them. "Those shoes are hidden," he told the Times. "They are worth a lot of money. I could lose my life."
Of course, Hillman was far from ungrateful. He said he appreciated what DePrimo did for him, and "wish[es] there were more people like him in the world," but has not adjusted well to the attention he's received lately. "I was put on YouTube, I was put on everything without permission. What do I get?" he asked. "This went around the world, and I want a piece of the pie."
The Plainfield, NJ, native has two children in their 20s, but hasn't spoken to them much recently. Hillman's sister-in-law says he calls the family annually to "let us know he's OK."