A Florida man burst into tears when he discovered the judge at his bond hearing was a former junior high school classmate who had nothing but positive things to say about him.
The video of the emotional reunion has since gone viral being viewed over 6 million times.
Arthur Booth, 49, appeared in court Thursday after police said he broke into a home, stole a car and fled from authorities, NBC Miami reported. He caused two accidents before crashing the Honda Accord and being arrested Monday, police said.
Shuffling papers, Miami-Dade County Judge Mindy Glazer said, “I have a question for you — did you go to Nautilus (middle school)?”
Booth clapped his hand to his face. “Oh my goodness!” he said with a smile that soon turned to tears.
“I’m sorry to see you here. I always wondered what happened to you,” Glazer said as Booth cried.
“This was the nicest kid in middle school. He was the best kid,” Glazer said, reminiscing on their time at the Miami Beach school. “I used to play football with him, all the kids, and look what has happened.”
As Booth, overwhelmed with emotion, shouted “Oh my goodness!” seven times, Glazer said she hoped he turns his life around.
“Good luck to you sir,” she said. “I hope you are able to come out of this okay and just lead a lawful life.”
Glazer set his bond at $43,000, drawing their brief interaction to a close. Booth remains in jail.
When Booth saw Glazer, he likely was filled with remorse and thoughts of what could have been, his cousin Melissa Miller told Local 10.
“It just brought back memories of how smart he was,” Miller said. “He was a scholar, well-rounded athlete, bilingual.”
Booth, a loving father and grandfather, got caught up in drug abuse and has been to jail before, she said. His hearing likely showed him just how much his path had diverged, Miller said.
“Wow, I had those opportunities and those abilities,” Booth probably thought, according to Miller. “That should have been me up there.”