An NYPD officer's act of charity — providing shoes and socks to a freezing homeless man — is being hailed around the world as video of his Christmas-spirit kindness goes viral.
Jennifer Foster, of Florence, Ariz., was strolling near Times Square with her boyfriend on Nov. 14 when the couple came upon a shoeless man asking for change. But just before Foster approached the man, she said Officer Larry DePrimo gave the man a pair of all-weather boots and thermal socks. Foster captured DePrimo’s generosity on her cellphone.
“It was extremely cold that night,” DePrimo told Fox News on Friday. “I just knew I had to help him.”
DePrimo, 25, said the man initially declined his offer of a pair of socks.
“He said, ‘No thank you officer, God bless you,” said DePrimo, who then entered a nearby Sketchers store and was given an employee discount for the purchase.
“He just said, ‘Thank you officer, God bless you and stay safe,’” DePrimo said.
Foster's photo was later posted to the NYPD's official Facebook page and became an instant hit. More than 420,000 users "liked" it as of Thursday evening, and more than 140,000 shared it. NYPD Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly also gave DePrimo a pair of cufflinks.
"I have these size 12 boots for you, they are all-weather,” Foster quoted DePrimo as saying to the man. “Let's put them on and take care of you.”
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.
DePrimo, who has been on the force for less than 3 years, is assigned to the Sixth Precinct and lives on Long Island with his parents. He downplayed the act of generosity and keeps the receipt from the boots in his bulletproof vest as a reminder that there is always someone less fortunate.
“Things like this happen every day,” he told Fox News.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.