MIAMI – While most school reunions are held in hotel ballrooms or local gymnasiums, a recent South Florida get-together occurred, in of all places, a courtroom.
As Miami-Dade judge Mindy Glazer was presiding over bond court on Tuesday, she looked up and noticed a very familiar face standing before her, WPLG-TV reports.
The suspect in front of the bench was Arthur Booth, a classmate of Glazer's at Nautilus Middle School.
Glazer asked if Booth, who is facing numerous charges including burglary and grand theft, had attended the school.
"Oh, my goodness! Oh, my goodness!" exclaimed Booth before beginning to cry.
Glazer said that Booth was the nicest and best kid in school.
"I used to play football with him, all the kids, and look what has happened," Glazer said. "I'm sorry to see this."
Booth's cousin, Melissa Miller, said he had potential to do great things in his life. She believed that he felt a sense of shame and remorse when he saw Glazer.
"It just brought back memories of how smart he was. He was a scholar, a well-rounded athlete, bilingual," Miller said.
But instead of college, Miller said Booth went on another path of crime and drugs. She said the cycle of incarceration and on-and-off drug use was vicious. Miller said despite his criminal record, Booth is a good person and a loving father and grandfather.
"I was heartbroken -- it just broke my heart. We're really trying to find help, because there's really a need for help," she said.
As Booth continued to cry, Glazer continued to wish him well in turning his life around.
"Good luck to you, sir," Glazer told Booth. "I hope you're able to come out of this OK and just lead a lawful life."
While the emotional reunion was certainly the talk of the courts, Glazer had no problem dispensing justice and set Booth's bond at $44,000.