Homeless Man Changes Cop's View of People With One Simple Act

In case you are ever tempted to judge someone by how they look, think again. A homeless man is being praised after he found a wallet containing almost $500 in cash -- and promptly brought it to a local police station. Detective Lt. Thierry Croizer was so astonished by the seemingly out-of-character act that he's basically changed his entire view of people. He says:

He surprised me. And I was happy to be surprised. It made me reevaluate my perception of people, my first instinct, when I first observe someone.

Isn't this a lesson we could all use? From Susan Boyle to Trayvon Martin, people are often not what they appear. As for homeless people, whether it's the man who returned a woman's lost engagement ring or the man who saved a newborn, they've proven time and again that they are you and me -- without a home.


The 50-year-old homeless man, Hassel Barber, found the wallet lying on a sidewalk in Kingston, New York. He looked inside and saw the $485 cash, but didn't bother to count it because "it wasn't mine." Wow, how simple and truthful that is.

Barber walked to a police station and handed the wallet over to Croizer, who was so touched he posted about the man on his Facebook wall. He told the Times Herald-Record:

I felt the story deserved a little publicity because it just goes to show that you can't judge people by their everyday circumstances or by their appearance.

People began calling the station offering assistance to the man, and he turned down offers of food, saying he has "plenty." As for cash, he'd take an honest reward. But he wasn't about to take what wasn't his.

How many of us would do the same? Luckily I've never been faced with this dilemma, but the idea of someone panicking over their lost cash would likely drive me to the police station. I'd probably weep when I parted with the wallet though.

Barber isn't weeping. Good man!

Have you ever had a homeless person surprise you?


Image via Nickolas Nikolic/Flickr

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