Arthur Booth, 49, appeared in court on Thursday for a bond hearing following an arrest in which police said he broke into a home, stole a car, and fled from authorities.
Presiding Miami-Dade County Judge Mindy Glazer shuffled her papers before taking Booth by surprise with her first inquiry: “I have a question for you — did you go to Nautilus [Middle School]?”
It turns out that Booth and Glazer were former middle school classmates. The brief exchange brought Booth to tears:
Judge Glazer proceeded to share her fond memories of Booth as he was overcome by regret.
She said “I’m sorry to see you here. I always wondered what happened to you. This was the nicest kid in middle school. He was the best kid…I used to play football with him, all the kids, and look what has happened.”
Booth’s cousin, Melissa Miller, told local 10:
It just brought back memories of how smart he was. He was a scholar, well-rounded athlete, bilingual. He probably thought, “Wow, I had those opportunities and those abilities. That should have been me up there.”
Glazer added, “Good luck to you sir. I hope you are able to come out of this okay and just lead a lawful life.”
She set his bail at $43,000.