Rhode Island judge Frank Caprio, 87, known for his compassionate rulings and ‘Caught in Providence’ TV show breaks down as he reveals pancreatic cancer diagnosis in emotional video: ‘Please pray for me’


Judge Frank Caprio, known for the empathy and compassion he shows to those who appear in his court, broke down in an emotional video posted to social media in which he revealed that he has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. 

Caprio, 87, told viewers that he was not feeling well after celebrating his birthday recently and went for tests when he learned the sad news.

‘People ask me what can I do for you? First of all, I can’t thank all of your for your friendship and kind messages. But I would ask that each of you in your own way to please pray for me,’ the Rhode Island judge said. 

‘I am in need of the power of prayer, which I believe in addition to the medical treatment I am receiving is the most powerful weapon to help me survive this.’

In January 2023, Caprio announced his retirement from the bench after 40 years of service. He became a household name during his tenure thanks to his TV show Caught in Providence.

Judge Frank Caprio told his fans this week that he is battling pancreatic cancer after undergoing medical tests around his 87th birthday

Judge Frank Caprio told his fans this week that he is battling pancreatic cancer after undergoing medical tests around his 87th birthday

In his heartbreaking social media post, Caprio posted photos showing him receiving treatment from his 'wonderful team of doctors'

In his heartbreaking social media post, Caprio posted photos showing him receiving treatment from his ‘wonderful team of doctors’

‘Just knowing that you are keeping me in your thoughts means the world to me. Thank you for all your past messages. Thank you for your loving support. And please remember, just a small prayer. I really appreciate it,’ he added, through tears.

During his career, Caprio served as the chief judge of the Municipal Court of Rhode Island and the chairman of the Rhode Island Board of Governors and Education.  

The judge has five children with his wife, Joyce, two of his sons, Frank and David, have both been elected representatives in Rhode Island for the Democratic Party. 

Caprio said that he will receive treatment from a ‘wonderful team of doctors’ in both his home state and at Boston’s Dana Farber Cancer institute while promising to fight the disease. 

‘I know there’s still a long road, and I’m fully prepared to fight as hard as I can,’ he said. In the clip, Caprio called his illness an ‘insidious form of cancer.’

Alongside the video, Caprio posted photos of birthday party, pictures of him hooked up IVs while receiving trips and clips of people wishing him well. 

Back in 2017, Caprio told DailyMail.com about his surprise at becoming a star – and how he owes it to his own hardworking, immigrant father. 

‘I’m always mindful of the fact that the power of the sovereign as opposed to the power of the individual is so disproportionate.’

‘Shame on me if I represent the sovereign and I give someone something that they don’t deserve. That’s a strict interpretation of the law.’

‘I take it to another extent. If I think there are certain circumstances in an individual’s life or it’s a close call, I give them the benefit of the doubt. I don’t subscribe to the theory that because you were charged you must be guilty,’ he said.

On his show, which aired on the Law & Crime Network, Caprio would regularly excuse parking tickets while dispensing wisdom on those before him. 

In one memorable moment in 2018, Caprio dismissed the ticket of a struggling mother-of-two after calling her son up to the bench and asking him if he thought the case should be dismissed. 

‘My mom, she’s looking for work cos she’s trying to move from our house. That’s why she can’t spend her money on anything,’ Armando Ramos told the court.

The camera focuses on Ramos’ mother who looks visibly emotional at her son’s words.

Judge Caprio told him as he dismissed the case: ‘Shake my hand, Look me in the eye. You’re a good kid, you love your mom. You made a good plea on her behalf.’

In another, from 2017, a grieving mother, Andrea Rogers, appeared before Judge Caprio with an accumulation of parking fines. She wept as she explained her struggle to keep her life together after her son was murdered.

‘I’m going to take into consideration the horrific story you just told us, relative to your son. I don’t think anyone in their lifetime would ever want to experience that,’ Judge Caprio tells her before dismissing all the penalties.

‘With our best wishes and hope that things turnaround for you. Good luck to you.’

One recipient of Caprio’s kindness, Spencer Gregory, told WJAR that he was heartbroken upon learning of the news.

Gregory had a traffic ticket dismissed after speaking to Caprio about becoming a Catholic priest. 

‘He was, you know, just as gracious, just as humble, and just as funny in person,’ Gregory told the station. 

‘It wasn’t just that I had to go and take care of a traffic ticket, but that I actually, you know, got something out of it, and really felt that he genuinely cared about who I was as a person,’ he added. 

Gregory said that he will once again listen to Caprio’s instruction and pray for him.  

This post first appeared on Daily mail

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