Sen. Randy Baumgardner, two Colorado state troopers help out shoeless homeless man

Two Colorado state troopers and Sen. Randy Baumgardner teamed up this morning to bring a smile to a homeless man whose shoes had been stolen in the middle of the night.

The troopers every morning wake up the homeless who sleep near or on the grates at the education building just north of the state Capitol across Colfax Avenue. Technician Kent Zeller and Trooper Carin Lawrence saw a man without any shoes on in the freezing weather.

“He said, ‘I took them off last night to warm them on the grate and someone must have taken them,” Lawrence said.

They told the man to stay there, and Lawrence returned to the Capitol to search the lost-and-found box and ask if anyone had an extra pair of shoes. No luck. She approached a table in the basement cafeteria where Baumgardner, a Republican from Hot Sulphur Springs, meets early every morning with a group of lobbyists from agriculture and other industries. They told her they didn’t have any shoes.

“Then I thought, ‘Wait a minute,'” Baumgardner said. “I asked what size does the guy wear and she said about a 10 or an 11.”

He walked her out to his car in the Capitol parking lot, opened up a duffel bag and pulled out a size 11 beat up pair of tennis shoes that Baumgardner wears every morning for his 5 a.m. workout. They still had the socks in them from this morning’s gym visit.

“I said, ‘They’re not the best, but here,'” Baumgardner said. “I guess I gave him the shoes off my feet — kind of.”

Zeller and Lawrence said the homeless man didn’t care that the socks and shoes were used.

“He had a smile from ear to ear,” Lawrence said. “He was so appreciative.”

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