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Homeless Man Who Officer Gave Boots To Is Seen Wearing Flip Flops

Date: 12/06/2012

It's the first video of the shoeless man from that now famous photo.

Jeffrey Hillman is speaking out today in an INSIDE EDITION exclusive, answering the question everyone is asking: What happened to those boots given to him by a kind-hearted police officer?

Hillman was asked, "Why do you chose not to wear the boots?"

"I feared for my life. That's why I took them off," said Hillman.

flip-flops

He says all the hubub over the photo of officer Larry DePrimo on bended knee giving him those $100 boots brought him a lot of attention that he never wanted and he doesn't sound particularly grateful.

"When the (blank) hit the fan, I got rid of them because they're worth money. I didn't want nobody taking them," said Hillman. "To me that was the smartest thing to do, you what I'm saying? Because, why would I jeopardize my well being, my safety over a pair of lousy boots?"

Photographers Bouba Tabane and Alexandra Santana found Hillman panhandling right in front of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in Manhattan.

"We realized who it was, and we just started filming," said Santana.

And it may be a bone-chilling 32 degrees out there in the Big Apple, but Hillman was wearing flip flops.

"I love my life," said Hillman.

He doesn't seem to mind the cold and is clearly getting used to his newfound fame, telling photographers, "Make sure you get a good shot."

Hillman says he's hidden the boots for fear they will be stolen.