Because a panhandler's choice of footwear has somehow become an object of great media fascination, Inside Edition is here to provide us with the latest update in the Shoeless Not Homeless BootGate 2012. Last night their news crew tracked down poor Jeffrey Hillman near the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, where the famous panhandler was photographed, for the first time, wearing footwear.

Unfortunately, he wasn't wearing the $100 boots purchased for him by compassionate NYPD officer Lawrence DePrimo, but rather cheap flip-flops. In his first television interview, Hillman did his best to explain why. “I got them hidden," Hillman explained, referring to the boots, which he says are too valuable to wear on the street. "I fear for my life."

Asked if he wore them at all, Hillman said, "Of course. For two weeks." But he says stopped wearing them after "it went viral. People think I sold the boots. An hour and a half from now I'm going to have them on. Why should I jeopardize my well-being, my safety, over a pair of lousy boots?"Here's the video, for extra sadness.