Of course, there are always naysayers. I heard people complaining on talk radio here in New York that the cop should have been doing his job instead of buying a guy shoes. Another questioned the impropriety of getting the employee discount, and still others felt he knew that the woman was there with her phone ready to snap the picture.
Not to let it end there, other reports came out about Hillman suggesting that he was a petty criminal and a scam artist. He had been arrested many times for drug possession and other things. It was also said that the man frequently walked around barefoot to get money from sympathetic passersby and tourists.
This negativity seems just an attempt to ruin a perfectly good story about a good guy doing the right thing, but we New Yorkers are not letting these Grinches and Scrooges get to us. We know Larry DePrimo did this for all the right reasons, and he should get a commendation or whatever else the NYPD can do to recognize this fine fellow.
As for Mr. Hillman, I heard on the radio tonight that he has two siblings who were shocked to see his picture in the newspaper. His younger brother told a reporter that he hopes that Jeffery will come home for Christmas. For this story to have a really happy ending, we have to hope that Mr. Hillman will go back to his family. At least we know that he will be wearing a nice pair of boots if he does. Ah, yes, wouldn’t that be the O. Henry ending and then some.
Photo Credits: DePrimo and Hillman-hollywoodgossip; DePrimo-thedailybeast.com