Joey Resto wished he could have done more for the bare- chested homeless man he encountered on an A train Friday night.
But just a selfless act of giving a shivering homeless man the shirt off his back and the hat off his head earned him praise from thousands of people who commented on the encounter caught on video by another passenger and posted to Facebook. More after the cut…
“It was a natural reaction to help, to do what I can,” Resto told the Daily News on Monday. “I hope they find this guy. It’s not hard to spot him out.”
Resto, 23, a paralegal in Brooklyn, boarded a Brooklyn-bound A train in Washington Heights around 10 p.m. on Friday to see his fellow passengers avoid a shirtless, odorous man sitting alone on a freezing night. But Resto sat right in front of him. The homeless man looked like he had been roughed up recently Resto said there were bumps on his head and abrasions on his skin. He took video of the man for his Snapchat.
“After I did the first video of him with nothing on, I said, ‘Nah I can’t just sit here and not do anything,’” Resto said.
That’s when Resto pulled off his white cotton T-shirt and offered it to the man, wearing only a pair of blue jeans and gray sneakers.
“He didn’t really say yes, he just kind of lifted his arms like a child,” Resto said.
The indigent man was helped into his new, clean shirt, leaving Resto in his tank top. He explained that he had been robbed of his clothes and cash earlier, according to Resto. Resto tried to get the man to come with him in Brooklyn for a hot meal, coffee or more clothes, but he ultimately stayed on the train as Resto got off at the Hoyt-Schermerhorn Sts. station.
“He was warm for the first time in I don’t know how long,” he said. “He just curled up in a corner and went to sleep.”
The video has been viewed more than 13 million times and garnered more than 300,000 likes as of Monday.
“The guy did a good deed, so I wanted to record it,” Lazaro Nolasco, who took the viral video, told The News on Friday. “I would tell him, ‘God bless him.’ That was thoughtful.”