NEW YORK A picture capturing a New York City police officer's random act of kindness toward a barefoot homeless man in Times Square has become an Internet hit.
Tourist Jennifer Foster, visiting the city from Arizona, snapped a shot of Officer Larry DePrimo giving the unidentified man a new pair of all-weather boots and thermal socks on a frigid night Nov. 14.
In a note to the NYPD, Foster explained that she was visiting "The Crossroads of the World" with her husband when she saw the man on the sidewalk asking for change. DePrimo offered something better.
"The officer said, 'I have these size 12 boots for you, they are all-weather. Let's put them on and take care of you.' ... I have been in law enforcement for 17 years. I was never so impressed in my life," she wrote.
DePrimo told the New York Times he purchased the boots at a nearby Skechers shop, which granted him an employee discount, bringing the normally $100 boots down to $75. He told the paper he's held on to the receipt in his vest to remind him "that sometimes people have it worse."
The officer told Newsday the homeless man "smiled from ear to ear. It was like you gave him a million dollars."
When the NYPD posted the photo and portions of Foster's note on its Facebook page, the reaction was quick. As of Thursday morning, the picture had generated around 330,000 likes, had been shared around 80,000 times and has received over 20,000 comments.