New York's most famous shoeless man stashes new boots

NEW YORK Tue Dec 4, 2012 12:30am IST

1 of 2. New York police officer Larry DePrimo gives a homeless man a pair of boots and socks in Times Square in this November 14, 2012 handout photo courtesy of Jennifer Foster. The photograph has drawn a deluge of praise after it was published on the police department's Facebook page this week.

Credit: Reuters/Jennifer Foster/Handout

Related Topics

Rajalakshmi (C), 28, smiles after winning the Miss Wheelchair India beauty pageant in Mumbai November 26, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Miss Wheelchair India

Seven women from across India participated in the country's second wheelchair beauty pageant, which aims to open doors for the wheelchair-bound in modelling, film and television, according to organisers  Slideshow 

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The homeless man who received a new pair of boots from a police officer in New York's Times Square last month in what became a nationally celebrated act of kindness is once again walking the streets barefoot, having hidden the boots.

Unidentified for days after a photo of him with the boots and New York City Police Officer Larry DePrimo attracted national media attention, Jeffrey Hillman, 54, was spotted without shoes on Sunday evening on Manhattan's Upper West Side, according to the New York Times.

"Those shoes are hidden. They are worth a lot of money. I could lose my life," Hillman, 54, told the Times when asked about the boots.

Despite not wearing DePrimo's gift, Hillman still said he was grateful for the officer's charity.

"I appreciate what the officer did, don't get me wrong. I wish there were more people like him in the world," he told the Times.

Hillman, originally from South Plainfield, New Jersey, served as a U.S. Army food service specialist in the United States and Germany until the early 1980s, according to the Times. He declared bankruptcy in New Jersey in 1993 and has been homeless in New York for most of the past decade, according to the Times and the New York Post.

Exactly how Hillman ended up living on the streets is unknown. His family had not heard from Hillman in nearly a year before they recognized him in the viral photo but said they would welcome him into their homes.

"Jeffrey has his own life and he has chosen that life but he knows that our hearts and home are always open to him," Hillman's niece Alegra Hall told the Post.

(Reporting by Peter Rudegeair; Editing by Dan Burns and Bill Trott)

FILED UNDER:

Showbiz

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Jamini Roy

Jamini Roy

Photo Gallery – Bengali household name Jamini Roy’s paintings  Full Article 

Forever21 In India

Forever21 In India

Forever21 sets sights on Indian cities, but please hold the hot pants  Full Article 

Nazi Art Collection

Nazi Art Collection

Swiss museum publishes list of Nazi loot art trove  Full Article 

A Minute With

A Minute With

'Sunny' Charlie Day on oddballs, 'Horrible Bosses'  Full Article 

Arab Singer Dies

Arab Singer Dies

Lebanese singer Sabah dies at 87  Full Article 

Book Talk

Book Talk

Pack of Thieves? Convict-era Australia stacks the deck  Full Article 

Ferguson Impact

Ferguson Impact

Garth Brooks cancels TV appearances amid Ferguson unrest  Full Article 

Canada Sex Case

Canada Sex Case

Canadian celebrity radio host charged with sexual assault  Full Article 

Broadway in Cuba

Broadway in Cuba

Broadway finds a new stage in an old venue: Cuba  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage