Dec 05 2012
A Huck’s Hero salute today to New York police officer Lawrence DePrimo, who gave new meaning to the saying, “The policeman is your friend.” On a freezing night a couple of weeks ago, DePrimo was putting duty in Times Square when he saw an older, barefoot homeless man. Thinking how cold his own feet were even with two pairs of socks, he asked the man’s shoe size. Then he stepped into a nearby shoe store and asked for a pair of size 12 all-weather boots. The store manager was so shocked at seeing someone who didn’t just ignore homeless people, he gave him the employee discount. DePrimo stepped outside, put the boots on the man, and they parted ways.
He thought that was the end of it. He didn’t know that a tourist who worked for an Arizona sheriff had seen a cop kneeling to put shoes on a homeless man and was so moved, she’d snapped a photo. It ended up on the Internet, went viral, and now Officer DePrimo is being hailed as a hero. It’s all a bit overwhelming for him. He just wanted to help someone in need. But he says he does keep the shoe receipt in his pocket, as a reminder that some people have it worse than you do. I have a feeling a lot of people may now be carrying that photo of him to remind them of the same thing.