Homeless New Yorker Wins the Lottery, so to Speak, When NYPD Officer Gives him Boots

Larry DePrimo and homeless man

By Dawn Cranfield

Homeless New Yorker Wins the Lottery, so to Speak, When NYPD Officer Gives him Boots

As I looked at my lottery ticket this morning with the numbers 6, 17, 23, 24, and 30 carefully chosen, I thought to myself, this could be my lucky day.  I drew in a deep breath as I nervously switched the television station to find the numbers selected were 5, 16, 22, 23, and 29.   Oh, so close!  Not really, I did not even buy a ticket for the Powerball lottery that made a few people incredibly wealthy last night.

However, they cannot feel as happy or as lucky as the New York City homeless man who was given a pair of boots and socks by an NYPD officer.  No doubt the officer who offered the gift of thoughtfulness and generosity feels like he won the lottery as well.

The officer, identified as Larry DePrimo, was captured with a tourist’s cell phone as he gave the all-weather, size 12 boots and socks to the man.  DePrimo was quoted as saying, “‘I have these size 12 boots for you, they are all-weather. Let’s put them on and take care of you.” (nypost.com)

Jennifer Foster, of Florence, Arizona, the tourist who took the photo, later posted it on Facebook and caused an Internet frenzy.  There were hundreds of thousands of likes with dozens of news stories covering the photo.  “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,” she wrote on her Facebook page.  (nypost.com)

The homeless man had never owned a pair of shoes; when he helped the man put on the shoes, DePrimo said the man “smiled from ear to ear. It was like you gave him a million dollars.” (foxnews.com)

DePrimo had seen the man earlier in Times Square begging for change; when he noticed the man had no shoes, he went to a nearby Sketchers store, purchasing the boots and a pair of thermal socks.  The store manager, Jose Cano, offered the officer his discount, furthering this random act of kindness, bringing the price of the boots down from $100 to $75.

At a time when technology seems to always be at hand to catch our men in blue doing something wrong, it is incredible to see such a beautiful act captured in perpetuity.

So, if you did not win the lottery last night and you are feeling a little broke, do something nice for somebody else; it has a way of making you feel rich in a way money never could.  Though, if you were one of last night’s big winners, you probably already feel wealthy in a way most of us can never fathom.



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