BY World's Editorial Writers
Saturday, December 01, 2012
12/01/12 at 4:33 AM
What a story! It was a holiday season act of kindness - performed by a New York City cop - that could have come from a Frank Capra movie. The tourist's cell phone snapshot that recorded it for posterity had the look of a Norman Rockwell painting.
Police officer Larry DePrimo was on counter terrorism patrol in NYC's Times Square on a frigid Nov. 14 night when he heard some people laughing at a man who was sitting on a sidewalk. DePrimo investigated and found the man barefoot and homeless, begging for change.
The officer didn't hesitate. He ran to a nearby shoe store and bought a pair of all-weather boots - he asked for the store's best - and thermal socks.
DePrimo then returned to the shoeless man, knelt beside him and helped him with the footwear.
The cop didn't know it at the time but Jennifer Foster of Florence, Ariz., who was visiting New York with her boyfriend, witnessed DePrimo's act of kindness and snapped it on her cell phone camera. She later sent the photo to the New York City Police Department, which posted it on its Facebook account. He quickly became an Internet hero, with hundreds of thousands of people viewing the photo.
Even with an employee discount, which the shoe store manager gave him when he learned what DePrimo was doing, the boots and socks cost more than $75, a big chunk of what the three-year veteran of the police force earns in a day.
"I was just doing my job," DePrimo later told reporters.
Well, his job and a whole lot more.
Tourist Jennifer Foster used her cell phone to capture New York City Police Officer Larry DePrimo presenting boots and socks to a barefoot homeless man in New York's Time Square Courtesy/Associated Press