A lot of water had passed under the bridge since Mindy Glazer and Arthur Booth were classmates at Nautilus Middle School.
Both seemed destined for impressive things. He was a dedicated student and a good athlete, she was putting in the work that would eventually lead to a life in the legal profession.
Earlier this week, the two had an unlikely reunion in a place neither of them might have expected – a courtroom where she was the judge and he was the defendant brought before her on a charge of burglary, docket number F15-13303.
As Mr Booth, dressed in orange prison garb, stood in the dock, the Miami-Dade judge asked the defendant if he had attended Nautilus Middle School, located in Miami Beach.
Mr Booth replied that he had, and then was rocked by emotion, apparently overwhelmed by the circumstances of their encounter. “Oh, my goodness. Oh, my goodness,” he sobbed.
Ms Glazer told the courtroom that Mr Booth had been the “nicest” and the “best kid’ in school. She said she had always wondered what had happened to him.
“I used to play football with him, all the kids, and look what has happened,” she said, according to Local10.com news. “I’m sorry to see this.”
Mr Booth’s cousin, Melissa Miller, told the news channel that he used to be a dedicated student and athlete, but that drugs had taken a grip of his life and that he had eventually turned to crime.
“It just brought back memories of how smart he was. He was a scholar, a well-rounded athlete, bilingual,” said Ms Miller.
“I was heartbroken. It just broke my heart. We’re really trying to find help because there's really a need for help.”
Ms Glazer wished Mr Booth well in turning his life around. “I hope you’re able to come out of this OK and just lead a lawful life,” she said.
And then, in a move that underscored the different paths their lives had taken, Ms Glazer set her former classmate’s bail at $44,000. He remains behind bars.
- More about: