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Man with a beard talking into a microphone and an elderly judge looking at him.

Judge Frank Caprio Helps Man Who Recently Lost a Child


Man Faces Hefty Fine For Running a Red Light - Then the Judge Learns Why He Did It

A judge’s kindness helps this man during a time of grief.

We’re getting better as a society about talking about trauma and grief and the pain that comes with certain experiences. Doing so can put us on a path toward healing.

But so can kindness, which one judge exemplified when a grieving motorist came into his courtroom one day.

A Judge With a Heart

brown wooden bench on green grass field during daytimebrown wooden bench on green grass field during daytimePhoto by Ann on Unsplash

Judge Frank Caprio is known for his sympathetic ear and willingness to help others down on their luck. On Caught in Providence, Caprio often helps pay the fines of others from a special fund named after his mother. By providing that kindness, he helps pay it forward and inspires others to make a difference in their communities as well.

One day, a man named Jean came into his courtroom. At first, Carpio riffed with the man over his beard and had a side conversation with the officer in the courtroom about making a donation to a local charity the police were running.

Eventually, Caprio turned his attention back to Jean and asked him about the reason for his court appearance: Jean had run a red light, and now he was facing a hefty fine.

A Painful Day

As Jean explained, he didn’t know he ran a red light since it was yellow when he entered the intersection. He wasn’t even aware the light had changed until he received the notice in the mail weeks later. Jean is a Lyft driver, and he was working the night in question when his wife called.

According to Jean, his wife was pregnant at the time after suffering four miscarriages. “She called me, and when she called me, she told me she was bleeding,” he revealed. “I shut down the app, and I was rushing to go be with her because she was alone.”

When the judge asked how Jean’s wife was doing, he revealed she was okay but that she had lost the baby.

An Extension of Kindness

Learning the sad news, Judge Caprio immediately dismissed the case. “We all share in your sorrow at this unfortunate event,” he said. “With that, we wish you and your family good health.”

The judge could have stopped there, but he took time out of his busy schedule to continue chatting with the man and to learn how he was holding up.

“It’s a tough situation,” Jean replied, adding he feels guilty for his feelings but that he’s also concerned about his wife. “She lost five kids. Five back-to-back is really tough. I put her in control so that [she can try to] heal herself. It is tough.”

Share and Uplift

Unfortunately, miscarriage is more common than we might think — some studies suggest more than 30% of pregnancies in the United States end in miscarriage. It’s an awful thing to go through and can bring up many different emotions. The good news is that by talking about it and sharing, we can feel less alone in our grief.

In the meantime, Judge Caprio reminds us all that when it comes to processing grief and other such emotions, community and kindness can mean everything. At the end of the day, this man accidentally broke a law and ran a red light, which we know can be dangerous. But he was also going through something big, so the judge extended kindness. In doing so, he was able to take one small burden away from this family’s life.

It’s a little nudge for all of us to remember that everyone goes through things, but we never truly know what someone else may be going through. But by leading with kindness and recognizing that situations are rarely black and white, we can all do our part to uplift.

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