The New York City policeman who earned wide admiration last year when he bought boots for a barefoot man has a new job title.
Larry DePrimo was promoted to detective Tuesday, the New York Post reported. His father reminded the tabloid that his son's merits go beyond his kind deed, which earned DePrimo brief fame after it was captured in a viral photo snapped by an Arizona tourist.
While the attention has waned, "I don’t think the effects it had on people has ever stopped,” DePrimo told the Post and other outlets. "I still will get ‘what you did inspired me to do a great thing for another person,’ that’s fantastic."
On the frigid night of Nov. 14, 2012, DePrimo spotted a man without shoes near Times Square. The officer walked to a Skechers store blocks away and paid $75 for winter boots and socks. He returned to the man, later identified as Jeffrey Hillman, and put the thermal gear on his feet. "He smiled from ear to ear," DePrimo said. "It was like you gave him a million dollars."
The New York Daily News discovered in December 2012 that Hillman wasn't homeless, though many had already assumed him to be. He had a subsidized apartment in the Bronx. Nevertheless, DePrimo's compassion for a man still in great need continues to define Good Samaritanism.
Despite moving up the ranks, DePrimo, now 26, will still keep the nickname he earned from the encounter. "The nameplate on my desk reads 'Larry Boots DePrimo,'" he said.