Running into old schoolmates can sometimes be a nostalgic thrill, a forgettable awkward encounter, or a downright embarrassing moment. And for one Arthur Booth, a recent courtroom reunion with a former middle school classmate seems to unfortunately teeter on the latter.
Booth appeared at the Miami-Dade Circuit Court in front of Judge Mindy Glazer, who was presiding over a bond hearing for the 49-year-old following an alleged burglary and police pursuit.
Upon seeing Booth, Glazer asked if he’d attended Nautilus Middle School.
“Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness!” Booth exclaimed as a smile of recognition crept onto his face before he broke down and started crying.
“I’m sorry to see you there, I always wondered what happened to you sir,” said Glazer as Booth continued to cry. “This was the nicest kid in middle school, he was the best kid in middle school. I used to play football with him, all the kids, and look what has happened.”
Continuing, Glazer sought to offer words of encouragement to her former playmate.
“I am so sorry to see you there. Mr. Booth, I hope you are able to change your ways, good luck to you. 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.”
According to Local10 News, Booth’s cousin, Melissa Miller, believes that he broke down in court after recognizing his old classmate because he had the potential to do great things with his life, and he felt shame and remorse for where he was.
“It just brought back memories of how smart he was,” said Miller. “He was a scholar, well-rounded athlete, bilingual.”
However, Miller states that Booth went down a path of drugs and crime instead of going to college. Still, despite his criminal record, Miller insists Booth is a good person and a loving father and grandfather.
“I was heartbroken. I mean, it just broke my heart,” she said. “We’re really trying to find help because there’s obviously a need for help.”
NBC reports that Booth was arrested on Monday on suspicion of robbery. It is alleged that when he was spotted by the police, he took off and a pursuit ensued, which resulted in two accidents before he was eventually caught.
Booth’s bond was set at $43,000.
[Image via NBC Miami]