A man arrested in Miami got the surprise of his life when he realized the judge presiding over his bond hearing was a middle school classmate.
Arthur Booth was arrested on Monday following a car chase in Miami-Dade County. His charges include burglary, grand theft, fleeing and resisting arrest, according to NBC Miami.
Court video shows Booth standing in front of Judge Mindy Glazer, who begins with an unusual question.
“Did you go to Nautilus for middle school?”
Booth then breaks down into a mixture of smiles and tears, repeating, “Oh my goodness.”
“I’m sorry to see you there, I always wondered what happened to you sir,” Glazer said, adding that they used to play football together with their other classmates.
“This was the nicest kid in middle school; he was the best kid in middle school.”
Melissa Miller, Booth’s cousin, told a local news affiliate that she remembered him as “a scholar, well-rounded athlete, bilingual” before falling into a life of crime and drugs.
“I was heartbroken,” she says about Booth and Glazer’s unusual reunion. “We’re really trying to find help, because there’s obviously a need for help.”
Glazer maintains her composure in the video, smiling and shuffling the papers on her desk as she offers a measure of solace and encouragement to Booth. “I am so sorry to see you there. Mr. Booth, I hope you are able to change your ways, good luck to you,” she says.
“What’s sad is how old we’ve become. Good luck to you sir, I hope you are able to come out of this OK and just lead a lawful life.”
Booth’s bond was set at $43,000 US.
It’s unclear whether he’s hired an attorney, and he reportedly remains in jail.