Most people are probably already familiar with the Municipal Court Judge Frank Caprio. The 6-times re-appointed Chief Judge of Providence, Rhode Island, has been winning hearts across the globe through his viral compassionate and humorous videos. The 82-year-old judge is well-known for being understanding of people who have been ticketed in Providence.
One of those who received a ticket violation and experienced the life-changing kindness of the esteemed Judge Caprio is a man named Jose Jimenez. He was summoned to appear in the Municipal Court due to the two separated parking violations he had committed.
“Good morning, so you have 2 parking tickets. One on Wallace St. and one on Harold St.” Judge Caprio said, explaining to Jose why he was called.
Surprised, Jose Jimenez was not aware that he had committed a parking violation on Harold St. 5 years ago. The grown-man emphasized that he had no recollection of it.
Judge Caprio, however, reiterated that it was around 1 O’clock when Jimenez was issued with a parking ticket violation. Jose explained that he did not receive any letter and thus was completely unaware of it until he was summoned to the court.
“I didn’t know that… Why did they not send me a letter?” Jose Jimenez clarified. Apparently, he never got hold of the letter informing him that he had indeed committed a parking violation. Understanding this error, Judge Caprio moved on to his second offense.
“How about the one on Wallace St. That’s [about ]5 O’clock…. 4:30 in the morning?” Judge Caprio asked.
Jose Jimenez recounted the events that happened on that day and explained the nature of his job to the compassionate judge seated in front of him.
“OK. I have a landscaping truck business and I’ve got two trucks… I’m so tired. I do roofs. sides, decks, patios, and the guys have a party, my tenants…” Jose recounted, painting a vivid image of his situation in the mind of the veteran Judge. “I went inside and I ate dinner then I went to rest and I forgot the truck on the street,” Jose admitted.
Although he had admitted his error, Jose noted that he got the ticket and paid the $20 violation fee already. But the problem is, the office responsible got the payment late and charged Jose Jimenez with a fine.
“I’m here to know if I can pay only the $20…” Jose added, presenting his sound request to Judge Caprio.
Jose Jimenez’ problem is nothing new to the veteran 82-year-old Judge. And just like what he did for the others, Judge Caprio listened and chose to understand Jose Jimenez’ plea.
“I got the notation that the ticket got paid. There’s a penalty… I’m waving the penalty. You’re free to go.” Judge Caprio declared, giving consideration to Jose.
Usually, those who have a ticket violation leave the court the moment their case has been resolved. However, it seems that for Jose Jimenez, he the esteemed and veteran Judge Caprio did more than just waiving a penalty fee.
“I wanna tell you something about my life.” Jose began his story. “I wanna tell you ‘thank you’ because 20 years ago, I was a bad boy like I’d be here every month.” The man added, recollecting the mischiefs he did during his youthful days. According to Jose, he was a frequent guest on the court due to a speeding limit ticket, drunk driving, and other violations.
Jose also informed Judge Caprio that he spent around $53,000 to legally become an American Citizen and it’s been 16 years since it has been granted to him.
The man who is close to tears recalled his most memorable encounter with the kindhearted judge. Jose Jimenez said that he was 18-years-old then when Judge Caprio asked the question that made him change for the better.
“What do you want to be later? You want to be in jail? You want to die? Or do you want to be a somebody?” It was this question that Jose realized he needed to make a choice. And he chose to be somebody.
“I want to be a somebody. I took my CDL. I’m a truck driver.” Jose Jimenez proudly shared while he was on the verge of crying. “Thank you.” He added, sincerely grateful for the judge who touched his heart and inspired him to be who he is today.
The people inside the court were also touched and inspired by the story they have heard and clapped their hands, obviously happy for Jose Jimenez. Meanwhile, Judge Caprio’s face lit up with a smile, happy as well that he was able to help Jose become a better version of himself.
“I’m gonna tell you something,” Judge Caprio said in response to Jose’s moving revelation. “You were down and it’s not a crime to get knocked down in life. But it’s a sin not to get up.”
“So you suffered being down and out and you were having problems… It’s something I try to do with people. Sometimes people say I’m too lenient. I’m not trying to be lenient, I’m trying to help people.” Judge Caprio, full of wisdom, explained why he is very understanding and compassionate to the people appearing inside his court.
“God love you. Congratulations on turning your life around!” Judge Caprio said, happy to know that he made a positive impact on the life of the 18-year-old Jose Jimenez.
Just like what Judge Caprio always say, “I don’t wear a badge under my robe. I wear a heart under my robe.” May we all be reminded that everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about. There will be times in which we would be too preoccupied with the problems we are carrying.
Since we are only humans, it is natural to feel lost and confused. It is because of this nature, that, sometimes, we are given an allowance for our mistakes. “I think I should take into consideration whether somebody is sick and whether their mother died and whether they have kids who are starving,” Judge Caprio concluded.
Watch the viral video that has moved a thousand hearts, and learn more about how Judge Caprio managed to change the life of the young Jose Jimenez for the better!
Photos and Video | Caught in Providence