Officer buys homeless man new shoes after his were stolen


Officer Rolando Rivera

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - After a homeless man's shoes were stolen, a South Florida police officer decided he'd do something about it: buy the man a new pair.

A Fort Lauderdale Police Department report said that 36-year-old Brian Espeut told Officer Rolando Rivera earlier this month that someone had stolen his shoes while he slept at a Fort Lauderdale park. While Rivera filled out the paperwork, Espeut disappeared and Rivera said he went home after his off-duty detail ended.

But Rivera said he was concerned about Espeut so he came back to the park and found him. The officer then went to a store and bought Espeut a pair of work boots and pack of tube socks.

"The boots are great, and I just wanted to tell you thank you again," Espeut said.

"I know I didn't have to do it, but I just felt that I was in a unique position to help this guy," said Rivera.

Rivera said he wasn't looking for the publicity, but wanted to do something nice and would do it again for someone else.

The Associated Press has contributed to this report.