New York's most famous shoeless man stashes new boots

NEW YORK Mon Dec 3, 2012 11:20pm IST

Related Topics

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:

Reuters Showcase

Markets Weekahead

Markets Weekahead

Column - Caution advised in a trader’s market  Full Article 

Reuters Poll

Reuters Poll

RBI seen holding rates steady on Tuesday, minority of analysts expect cut  Full Article 

GDP Revised

GDP Revised

Economic growth revised up by almost 50 percent  Full Article 

Australian Open

Australian Open

Hingis wins Australian Open mixed doubles title with Paes   Full Article 

Houston's Daughter

Houston's Daughter

Bobbi Kristina Brown revived after found unresponsive in tub  Full Article 

India Art Fair

India Art Fair

Art fair turns India's capital into art hub.  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Rahasya" is an ode to Agatha Christie.  Full Article 

Review: Hawaizaada

Review: Hawaizaada

Movie Review: Hawaizaada  Full Article | Related Story 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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