A criminal courtroom is an unlikely setting for a childhood reunion, particularly when it's between the suspect and the judge.

Miami, Florida judge, Mindy Glazer was presiding over the case of a man arrested for burglary and theft on Thursday (2 July) when she realised they were childhood friends.

According to Local10, the judge and the suspect Arthur Booth, had once been playmates at Nautilus Middle School. Recognising him as her former school friend she asked if he had attended the same middle school she did.

In that instant, the man breaks into a huge smile, but quickly realising the unfortunate circumstances of their reunion, in heart-breaking scenes he is reduced to tears.

"Oh my goodness," replied Booth repeatedly, clearly overwhelmed by the unexpected meeting.

"I'm sorry to see you here," replied Judge Glazer. "I always wondered what happened to you."

Coming face-to-face with the realities of the very differing paths their lives have led them down, Booth covers his head in shame and cries as Glazer tells the court: "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."

"What's sad is how old we've become," she continued before concluding: "Good luck to you, sir, I hope you are able to come out of this OK and just lead a lawful life."

Booth, 49, was arrested on Monday (29 July) after being spotted driving a car that matched the description of one allegedly involved in a robbery and failing to stop after a police officer signalled him to.

A police chase followed, resulting in two accidents before he crashed the car. He fled on foot but was eventually caught and charged with various offences.

His cousin, Melissa Miller, said Booth used to be academic and an athlete, but that he turned to a life of crime after succumbing to drug addictions.

Miller speculated that when Booth saw his playmate he was thinking: "Wow, I had those possibilities and those opportunities ... that should have been me up there.''

The judge set bail at $44,000. Booth reportedly remains behind bars.