Police: Fort Mill man fled accident, abandoned 2 injured children

jmcfadden@heraldonline.comJanuary 14, 2013 

— A Fort Mill driver told police he was scared and didn’t know what to do Friday when he rear-ended a pickup near downtown Rock Hill and then fled on foot – leaving behind two injured young children.

Richard Michael Kordelski, 28, is charged with unlawful conduct toward a child, leaving the scene of an accident and driving under suspension, according to Rock Hill Police documents.

At about 4 p.m. Friday, officers went to the 600 block of Charlotte Avenue after receiving calls about an accident, the report states. They spoke with 65-year-old John Corbett, the driver of a Nissan Frontier pickup, which had been rear-ended by a Ford Escort parked in the middle of the road with a damaged hood.

Corbett told police the Escort’s driver, identified as Kordelski, left the scene on foot.

Several of Kordelski’s friends arrived at the scene and told officers that two boys, ages 5 and 8, were in the car at the time of the wreck and were “abandoned” by Kordelski when he left, according to the report.

The 5-year-old, who had been sitting in the back seat, had blood on his face, the report states, and the 8-year-old sitting in the front seat complained of mild head pain after he was struck by an airbag.

After Kordelski left, Corbett told The Herald he took the youngest boy out of a “styrofoam chair” sitting on the back seat and placed him on the stoop of a nearby house.

The chair “didn’t look like a safety seat,” said Corbett, who wasn’t injured in the crash. His truck suffered at least $1,000 in damage, he said.

Police called Kordelski’s cell phone and convinced him to return to the accident site, the report states. While en route, Kordelski was picked up by an officer who drove him to the crash scene.

Kordelski told officers he was scared and didn’t know what to do after the accident, so he ran away. Police said Kordelski and the boys live at the same Fort Mill address. The police report indicate that the boys were Kordelski’s girlfriend’s children.

Police took Kordelski to the Rock Hill jail and the children were left with the car owner’s sister.

“When I left, the paramedics were still checking them out,” Corbett said about the boys, the youngest of which had blood on his nose and chin.

A city magistrate set Kordelski’s bond at $15,000 Saturday before he was transferred to the York County Detention Center and later released.

Kordelski’s criminal history includes arrests and convictions in four different police jurisdictions, ranging from the York County Sheriff’s Office to Myrtle Beach Police, according to records with the State Law Enforcement Division.

In 2002, he was arrested by York County sheriff’s deputies and later convicted under the youthful offender act for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. Sheriff’s deputies arrested him again a year later for using a vehicle without permission. He received five years’ probation.

In 2007, Rock Hill Police arrested him for permitting an unauthorized person to drive. His parole was revoked, but he received credit for the time he was serving at the state Department of Corrections.

Myrtle Beach Police arrested him in 2008, charging him with reckless driving and driving under suspension. It’s unclear if he was convicted.

In 2010, York County sheriff's deputies charged him with criminal conspiracy. He pleaded guilty to that charge and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was sentenced to six months’ probation and had to register as a sex offender.

A year later in Chester County, he was charged with two counts of failing to register as a sex offender and violating his probation. In September that year, he pleaded guilty to one of the failure to register as a sex offender charges but was given credit for time served.

Cases for the other two charges were pending at the time of Kordelski’s arrest Friday, according to the state Judicial Department.

The Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service