Barefooted man from viral photo speaks to PIX11

Posted at 12:57 AM, Dec 08, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-08 12:48:35-05

The barefooted man, Jeffery Hillman.

The barefooted man who got free boots from a kind-hearted cop spoke to PIX 11 Friday evening, and he was wearing the boots.

The picture of an NYPD officer offering the man a pair of boots went viral a couple of weeks ago. It was taken by a tourist in Times Square on a cold night.

Officer Larry Deprimo, 25, felt bad for 54-year-old Jeffrey Hillman, so he bought him socks and $100 pair of boots.

A few days later, the New York Times spotted the man barefooted again.  Many people blasted him, and a lot of cynics said he probably sold the boots for crack.

Apparently not.  Hillman kept them and said he is very grateful for the officer’s action. He told PIX11 he gets government assistance to help manage his disabilities.  Hillman is bi-polar and schizophrenic.

Hillman said he will be hanging out in midtown Friday night with his new blanket from the V.A.