Homeless man returns lost cash, again
Hassell 'Junior' Barber may be homeless, but he's a man of integrity. The Kingston, N.Y. homeless man once again turned over to police cash that he found on the street.
Kingston, N.Y. — Authorities say a homeless man who last year turned in a lost wallet stuffed with money has done it again.
Police in the city of Kingston in New York's Hudson Valley say 67-year-old Hassell "Junior" Barber approached an officer on May 9 and said he wanted to turn in a "wad" of cash he had found on the ground.
The Times Herald-Record of Middletown reports that police aren't saying how much money Barber found. They're attempting to locate the owner.
The money was found on the same street where Barber discovered a wallet containing $485 in cash last July.
As reported by Associated Press in July, 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 July 21, 2013 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 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 told the AP. "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.
"It made me reevaluate my perception of people, my first instinct, when I first observe someone," Croizer said.
The wallet's owner was surprised and "very thankful," Croizer said.
Barber told the Times Herald-Record of Middletown: "I looked at the wallet and I seen money. I didn't bother to count it. It wasn't mine. I didn't want it."
At the time, many offered to help Barber financially, but he declined all offers.
Barber's actions are similar to those of a homeless man in Boston.
Glen James flagged down a police officer last September after he found the backpack containing $2,400 in cash and almost $40,000 in traveler's checks at the South Bay Mall in Boston. The man who lost it told workers at a nearby store and they called police, who later returned the backpack to him.
Boston police honored James with a special citation. After reading media accounts of James' honesty, a stranger, Ethan Whittington, started a fund for James on the crowdfunding site gofundme.com. The fund received more than $100,000 in donations.