NYPD Officer Buys Homeless Man Boots, Photo Goes Viral

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Larry DePrimo of the NYPD has become an Internet star, and deservedly so, after he was photographed by a tourist buying boots for a barefoot homeless man.

One frigid night this month, he walked by the man and was inspired by buy him socks and boots; the image was captured by a visitor to the Big Apple from Arizona.

Cop Buys Homeless Man Shoes

"I had two pairs of wool socks and combat boots, and I was cold," DePrimo, 25, said this week recalling the night of November 14, when he met the man.

Encountering an unidentified, shoeless man on the sidewalk on 7th Avenue near 44th Street, the young officer inquired about the state of his feet.

"I never had a pair of shoes," the man replied, according to DePrimo, who's assigned to the Sixth Precinct and has been on the force nearly three years.

The officer walked to a Skechers store over on 42nd Street and shelled out $75 for a pair of brand new, insulated winter boots and thermal socks.

DePrimo returned to the man a few blocks away, knelt down and put them on for him.

"He smiled from ear to ear," DePrimo said. "It was like you gave him a million dollars."

The officer also asked the man if he wanted a cup of coffee, but he graciously declined and went on his way. "I didn't think anything of it," DePrimo said of his act.

The public clearly felt otherwise.

The photo began circulating on Facebook, at which point the NYPD found and re-posted it. Tens of thousands of Likes and shares followed in the ensuing days.