This photo provided by Jennifer Foster shows New York City Police Officer Larry DePrimo presenting a barefoot homeless man in New York's Time Square with boots Nov. 14, 2012 . Foster 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 came up to the man with a pair of all-weather boots and thermal socks on the frigid night. She took the picture on her cellphone. It was posted Tuesday night to the NYPD's official Facebook page and became an instant hit. More than 350,000 users "liked" it as of Thursday afternoon, and over 100,000 shared it.AP Photo/Jennifer Foster
In this undated photo released by the New York City Police Department, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, officer Larry DePrimo is shown on-duty. DePrimo was working in Times Square on Nov. 14 when he gave a barefoot homeless man a new pair of socks and insulated boots.AP Photo/New York Police Department
NYPD Officer Larry DePrimo buys and puts on a pair of boots and thermal socks for homeless man.
FEATURED IN NEWS
- Motorcycle Deputy Critically Hurt in East Georgia Dies
- Ohioan to Appeal Conviction in 'Dying Blinks' Case
- Woman in Towed Car Likely Died at North Carolina Crash Scene, Autopsy Finds
- New Mexico Mom Chases Down Child Abductor; Man Arrested
- New Orleans Parade Shooting Arrests Cheered
- ‘Hatchet Hitchhiker’ Arrested in New Jersey Homicide
- Arrest in Washington Bulldozer Rampage
NEW YORK (AP) — 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 Thursday 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 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 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."