Hassel Junior Barber lives on the streets of Kingston by choice. He sleeps in doorways and on stoops.
And, police say, he’s an honest man.
Barber found a wallet plopped down on a sidewalk Sunday in the Hudson Valley city. Inside: $485. Money, Detective Lt. Thierry Croizer said, that Barber certainly could have used for food, shelter, clothes.
Instead, the 50-year-old homeless man marched the wallet to the police station and turned it in. No reward needed.
“He told us that he did not want anything in return,” Croizer said Wednesday. “That he did it because it was the right thing to do, and those are his words, the right thing to do.”
In a tough town sometimes scarred by serious crime, Croizer said he wanted to publicize a “feel-good” story, and hopes people learn the same lesson he did when he dealt with Barber on a new level.
The wallet’s owner was surprised and “very thankful,” Croizer said.
“I looked at the wallet and I seen money,” Barber said. “I didn’t bother to count it. It wasn’t mine. I didn’t want it.”
Within hours of posting the story, Croizer said the phone was ringing constantly with offers of help for Barber. He politely declined.