Linebacker Reuben Foster, the prized recruit of the Alabama Crimson Tide, signed his letter of intent with school on Wednesday, only to have have his fugitive father arrested on Friday by U.S. Marshals.
Deputies arrested 41-year-old Danny Foster in Miami after he had been on the run for 16 years for shooting his estranged wife Inita Berry Paige, while she was holding Rueben, who was 18 months old at the time. Paige survived the shooting and Reuben was wounded in the back.
Authorities arrested Danny Foster shortly after the incident in Randolph County, Ala. After he was indicted by a grand jury in 1996, Foster went on the run and was captured in California. He was then extradited back to Alabama, but escaped for a second time in December 1996, after he was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
He immediately fled to Miami and took on the identity of Jefferson McClendon. According to U.S. Marshals spokesman Scott Sides, Foster had a Florida driver’s license at the time of his arrest and was working in construction.
After Reuben was made aware of his father’s arrest, he took to his Twitter account Friday night, posting, “Tears pouring!!!”
Paige, who spoke to AL.com, expressed mixed feelings about the capture of her former husband.
“I was relieved and sad, all at the (same) time,” Paige said. “I was relieved because he got caught, but I was sad because some of the pain and memories that our kids will have to go through about it.”
Paige, who sustained a collapsed left lung as a result of the shooting, added that she is glad this long ordeal is finally over after 16 years.
“I’ll be able to relax and not worry anymore,” she said.
Foster, who was ranked as the nation’s No. 2 prospect by Scout.com, initially committed to Auburn in December. He dropped the Tigers after head coach Gene Chizik was fired by the university at the end of the season, and decided to attend cross-state rival Alabama.