Today I subbed for a science teacher at the middle school I attended in 6th grade. The day was pretty uneventful, the children were pretty well-behaved. During the last class of the day I notice a student was wearing a pair of Jordan’s, which in itself is not remarkable because Jordan’s are a very popular brand. Looking at his shoes made me think of a boy I knew while I was a student at this school. His name was Rashad Brewster; we had both attended the same pre-school. He was also my “boyfriend” for a brief period in 6th grade. One of the things I remember about him is his love of Jordan’s, his mother would always buy him the latest pair. Even then it was beyond my comprehension why a single mother would pay 100+ dollars constantly for her 11 year old son. He was her only child, her world- subsequently he was very spoiled. I maybe saw him once or twice since I left that school at the end of that school year. But, today I wonder how he was. Since I am off of the devil aka Facebook, I decided to Google him. Surprisingly, I located some hits:
Derrika King had just graduated from Palm Beach Lakes High School’s law management program and was set to head to Orlando in the fall where she would attend Valencia Community College but as the result of a ride with a drunk driver King will never make it to Orlando. The 17-year old died just 12 days before her 18th birthday when Rashad Brewster jumped a median in his Nissan Maxima and hit a 1995 Toyota head-on resulting in King’s death. (read more)
Police believe Brewster was driving 80 MPH in a 35 MPH zone and when they were called to the scene of the accident they smelled alcohol on the driver’s breath and found a bottle of vodka in the car. Tests later showed Brewster’s blood alcohol level was .107 and .108 above the legal limit of .08 in Florida. Brewster was arrested in Palm Beach on DUI Manslaughter charges.
Shocked, I wonder was this the same Rashad I knew. The ages from another article matched up to how old he should have been. I went to the Palm Beach County Sheriff website just to be sure, there I located the alleged charges against him and his mug shot. It was indeed my Jordan wearing boyfriend of the 6th grade, minus the addition of facial hair he looks the same. He is currently out on bond awaiting his trail, according to his address on the site he lives less than 5 minutes from me.
The accident that took this young woman life was less than a couple hundred feet from the school we both attended. I have become so accustomed to being surrounded with peers and associates that went to college and are pursuing graduate degrees- that I forget that not everyone made it out. Rashad and I were born in the same county four days apart, went to the same preschool and middle school, yet our lives at 23 are so vastly different. A reminder how easily my Black male peers can be swept in the lure and foolishness that is in our streets and how a Black woman on the right path one bad decision to ride with a drunk driver could end her life forever. I am sad that his life is forever altered, sad for his mother, the girl who died, her family and the community.