“My mom was on welfare a little bit, and, you know, I lived with my grandparents, I lived with my aunt, whatever. I was a jerk. I had some issues. You know, I was lost. . . . Mom was always working. . . . There was some violence in there where I would be sticking up for my mom and sisters. . . . I may get a little emotional. . . . And one day I was out with some older kids. . . . We were in Salem. . . . I had a pair of farmer overalls, and I stuck some records in them. . . . I was walking out, and a guy caught me.
“And so I was arrested and went over to Salem District Court, and Judge [Samuel] Zoll . . . gets me in his chambers, and he says: ‘So, tell me about yourself. I see you like music.’ I said, ‘Yeah, I love music. I like Zeppelin and Black Sabbath and Grand Funk, all that stuff.’ He says, ‘What else do you do?’ And I said, ‘I play . . . basketball, and I like to run.’ He said, ‘How good are you?’ And I said, ‘Well, I score about 30 or 40 points a game.’ He says, ‘Do you have any brothers or sisters?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, a half-brother and some half-sisters,’ and he says, ‘Wow, that’s great. . . . Do they look up to you?’ And I said, ‘Absolutely.’ He said, ‘That’s fantastic.’ . . . He . . . looks me right in the eye [and says], ‘How do you think they’d like to see you play basketball in jail?’ ’’
“I was, like, ‘Whoaaa.’ . . . He says, ‘I want you to write me a 1,500-word essay on that very topic, and I want it next week.’ That was the last time I ever stole, the last time I ever thought about stealing. . . . The other day I was at Staples, and something was in my cart that I didn’t pay for. I had to bring it back because . . . I thought of Judge Zoll.’’
January 14, 2010
Last November, Brown was asked if he'd ever been arrested: