I'm sure you all read the original heart warming stories where this rookie gives this homeless Vet shoes. Behind the scenes, and not reported by the media, many of the cawps that have dealt with this guy (and others like him) had a cynical laugh and speculated how this rookie was actually hurting this guys "act" which was to generate sympathy and coinage with his no shoes routine.
Doesnt change the fact that this kid did something with the best of intentions. OUtside of forced hospitalization/treatment (mental health orders, which are hard to come by), there is very little you can do to help these guys except give them food/drink/socks. Money and anything of value is simply enabling a drug/alcohol habit, in most cases.
Homeless Man Is Grateful for Officer’s Gift of Boots. But He Again Is Barefoot.
By MARC SANTORA and ALEX VADUKUL
Published: December 2, 2012
After Officer Lawrence DePrimo knelt beside a barefoot man on a bitterly cold November night in Times Square, giving him a pair of boots, a photo of his random act of good will quickly took on a life of its own — becoming a symbol for a million acts of kindness that go unnoticed every day and a reminder that even in this tough, often anonymous city, people can still look out for one another.
Officer Lawrence DePrimo received widespread news coverage for his generosity, but little was known about the man he helped, Jeffrey Hillman.
Officer DePrimo was celebrated on front pages and morning talk shows, the Police Department came away with a burnished image and millions got a smile from a nice story.
But what of the shoeless man?
For days, his bare feet — blistered and battered — were well known. Yet precise details about him proved elusive.
His name is Jeffrey Hillman, and on Sunday night, he was once again wandering the streets — this time on the Upper West Side — with no shoes.
The $100 pair of boots that Officer DePrimo had bought for him at a Skechers store on Nov. 14 were nowhere to be seen.
“Those shoes are hidden. They are worth a lot of money,” Mr. Hillman said in an interview on Broadway in the 70s. “I could lose my life.”
Mr. Hillman, 54, was by turns aggrieved, grateful and taken aback by all the attention that had come his way — even as he struggled to figure out what to do about it.
“I was put on YouTube, I was put on everything without permission. What do I get?” he said. “This went around the world, and I want a piece of the pie.”
He did not recall the photo being taken but remembered well the gift from Officer DePrimo. “I appreciate what the officer did, don’t get me wrong,” he said. “I wish there were more people like him in the world.”
At another point he said: “I want to thank everyone that got onto this thing. I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart. It meant a lot to me. And to the officer, first and foremost.”
Mr. Hillman said he came to New York about a decade ago and had been on the streets most of that time. He moves about Manhattan, he said, not frequenting any particular neighborhood. On Sunday, he was making his way from the Upper West Side to Times Square.
If it rained, he added, he might seek refuge on a train.
Mr. Hillman said he was from South Plainfield, N.J. He said he joined the Army in 1978 and served as a “food service specialist” in the United States and Germany.
He produced a worn veteran’s identification card that confirmed his service.
Mr. Hillman said that he was honorably discharged after five years and that before he became homeless he worked in kitchens in New Jersey.
He has two children — Nikita, 22, and Jeffrey, 24 — but has had little contact with them since a visit three years ago, Mr. Hillman said.
He was reluctant to talk about how he ended up on the streets, staring blankly ahead when asked how his life went off course.
After a long pause, he shook his head and said, “I don’t know.”
Since Mr. Hillman’s bare feet became famous, other people reported seeing him without shoes — one even after Officer DePrimo’s gift — and one woman said she had bought him a pair of shoes a year ago. Whatever the case, Mr. Hillman seemed accustomed to walking the pavement shoeless.
He was panhandling on Sunday night and carried a cup with a few coins inside.
The story seemed to dominate the city’s attention late last week. Speaking of Officer DePrimo on his radio program last week, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, “That’s what they’re trained to do — help people.”
Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly expressed his appreciation by giving Officer DePrimo a pair of department cuff links during a private meeting on Thursday.
Officer DePrimo, 25, who lives with his parents in Suffolk County, rocketed to national attention after the Police Department posted the photo of him and Mr. Hillman, taken by an Arizona tourist, on its Facebook page.
On Sunday, Mr. Hillman was spotted by Jamie Seerman and her sister Samantha near 79th Street and Broadway as they were shopping for a Christmas tree.
As he was being interviewed, several people noticed him.
Where's his piece of the pie? What a POS. Hey 32, is vagrancy still a crime? Put this guy in Riker's Island for a bit. No charity for garbage.
The most you can get this guy on Disorderly conduct, and he's way too smart for that. He's entirely cooperative and non-confrontational with cawps.
Many other cawps have given him money/shoes/clothes and tried to shield him from the club kids that try to take pictures with him, but he continually flocks to any situation where someone will give him dough. The shoe act is a huge money maker and he's entirely used to not wearing them.
Originally Posted by Bonhomme Richard
I guess the rook learned his lesson.
I'm sure in his quieter moments the "hello!" bell has gone off in his head. Happens to all of us, its a learning curve. Its a sad realization, especially for kid with a heart as big as his.
No one was a bigger college boy pansy lib than me back in the day.
Now, no one is a crustier dooshbag than me, except CBTNY and HDCentOhio....possibly.