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Homeless N.Y. man returns wallet

KINGSTON, N.Y. — 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 on a city sidewalk in Hudson Valley on Sunday. Inside: $485. Money that Barber certainly could have used for food, shelter, or clothes, Detective Lieutenant Thierry Croizer said.

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Instead, the homeless man, 50, marched the wallet to the police station and turned it in.

‘‘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 hopes people learn the lesson he did when he dealt with Barber in a new way. ‘‘It made me reevaluate my perception of people, my first instinct,’’ Croizer said.

The wallet’s owner was surprised and ‘‘very thankful,’’ Croizer said.

Within hours of posting the story on the department’s Facebook page, Croizer said the phone was ringing constantly with offers of help for Barber. He politely declined.

associated press

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