The New York City homeless man who received a gift of boots from a police officer who later became an online and media hero is back on the streets, with no footwear.

The New York Times found the homeless man Sunday night wandering barefoot in Manhattan. The newspaper identified him as Jeffrey Hillman, formerly of South Plainfield, N.J.

Asked about the $100 US all-weather boots that officer Larry DePrimo gave him on Nov. 14, near Times Square, Hillman said he had hidden them because "they are worth a lot of money."

He said he was grateful for the gift, but wanted "a piece of the pie" because the photo was posted online "without permission."

An Arizona tourist snapped the photo of the officer presenting new boots to Hillman. It went viral after it was posted on the New York Police Department's Facebook page.