NYPD Officer’s Random Act Of Kindness Goes Viral

Police officer Larry DePrimo helps a homeless man; Image: Jennifer Foster
Police officer Larry DePrimo helps a homeless man; Image: Jennifer Foster

A tourist was visiting Times Square in New York when she witnessed a “random act of kindness” she—and thousands of other people—will never forget.

A homeless man was begging for change. He had no shoes or socks on, in the frigid November evening.

As the tourist, Jennifer Foster, watched, a New York police officer approached the man.

The policeman said, “I have these size 12 boots for you; they are all-weather. Let’s put them on and take care of you.”

The officer helped the man put on socks and the new boots.

Foster snapped a photo of the officer performing the charitable act.

The officer is Larry DePrimo, 25. He had seen the homeless man and said the weather was freezing cold. He saw that the man had blisters on his feet and wasn’t even wearing socks. The man was walking on his heels.

Officer DePrimo had talked to the man (DePrimo never got his name) and found out he wore size 12 shoes.

DePrimo went into a Skechers shoe store and bought a pair of all-weather boots using his own money. Skechers gave the officer a 25 per cent discount on the boots.

DePrimo told CBS News that when he was a child his grandfather told him, “if you are going to do something, do it 100 per cent. And do it, or don’t do it at all.” That good advice stayed with him.

Larry DePrimo in 2011; Image: NYPD Facebook page
Larry DePrimo in 2011; Image: NYPD Facebook page

Officer DePrimo still has the $75 receipt from the shoes he bought. He keeps it in his bulletproof vest as a reminder that no matter how difficult things are, some people have it tougher.

Foster sent the NYPD a note about the incident and a copy of the photo she had snapped of the officer talking to the homeless man. The NYPD put the photo on its Facebook page where it has gone viral. More than half a million people have “Liked” the photo.

By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Officer DePrimo says that he’s always tried to live according to the wise words of his grandfather. What wise words do you try to live by? Why do you think these words are so meaningful?

Reading Prompt:
What is your impression of the police officer, Larry DePrimo, in this story? What details give you that impression?

Make inferences about texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts as evidence (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Use stated and implied ideas in texts to make inferences and construct meaning (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Develop and explain interpretations of increasingly complex or difficult texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts to support their interpretations (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Grammar Feature: Compound Words
A compound word is a word that is created by joining two root words. For example, the words sunflower, baseball, and fireworks are all compound words because they are each a combination of two root words. Review today’s article and underline all of the compound words you can find.