happy things

Homeless Boot Recipient Stashed His New Footwear

Photo: Jennifer Foster

The man who received a pair of boots from a New York City cop and a whole lot of media attention from the rest of the world finally gave an interview on Sunday night, barefoot. “Those shoes are hidden. They are worth a lot of money,” Jeffrey Hillman told a reporter from the New York Times, who tracked him down on an Upper West Side sidewalk. “I could lose my life.” It’s the first we’ve heard from the 54-year-old Hillman, who is going through a lot of conflicting emotions right now. He’s extremely grateful to Officer Lawrence DePrimo, but he’s also frustrated that he’s been left out of all the attention generated by the candid photo of DePrimo’s act of generosity. “I was put on YouTube, I was put on everything without permission. What do I get?” he told the Times. “This went around the world, and I want a piece of the pie.” Whatever Hillman wants to do with his boots is his own prerogative, of course, but it takes some of the “feel good” out of the story to think he’s afraid to wear them for fear they’ll get stolen and he’ll get hurt, as his quote suggests.