Driving instructor faces new charge

FORT MILL -- A York County driving instructor now faces a third charge of indecent exposure, police said.

David Wayne Zitcovich, 59, a Behind The Wheel Driving Academy instructor, showed his genital area to a 15-year-old student during her driver's education lesson, according to an arrest warrant obtained from the Fort Mill Police Department. Zitcovich of 1458 Covenant Place was charged Tuesday with indecent exposure, according to the warrant and police reports.

The latest charge marks the third time Zitcovich, a former Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper, has been charged with indecent exposure. A Rock Hill teen and a Tega Cay teen also told police that Zitcovich exposed his genital area during their driving lessons.

"He is pleading not guilty to the criminal charges," Rock Hill attorney Michael Matthews said.

The latest incident happened as a 15-year-old practiced driving maneuvers around Sept. 5 near the area of Harris Street and a driveway connecting to Riverview Elementary School in Fort Mill, the warrant notes.

Zitcovich was an instructor with Behind The Wheel Driving Academy at the time, said Capt. Bryan Zachary of the Fort Mill Police Department. Zitcovich was providing private driving lessons in Fort Mill, Rock Hill, Tega Cay and York. A bond hearing is slated for today, Zachary said. A court date is slated for Jan. 7.

Previous charges

On Aug. 31, a 16-year-old Rock Hill teen told authorities Zitcovich exposed his genitals as she drove in the parking lot at Rock Hill High School the day before. In that case, bond was set at $1,000, and a court date is set for Nov. 27, a detention center official said.

On Sept. 27, a 15-year-old Tega Cay teen and former driving student told police that Zitcovich exposed himself during her driving lesson near Rea Circle. The incident happened between July 16 and July 31, according to the warrant associated with that case.

Bond was set at $10,000 in that case, and a court date could come as early as Dec. 11, a detention center official said.

The mother of the Rock Hill victim said she picked Behind The Wheel Driving Academy because it was advertised in the telephone directory as "the only professional driving school owned and operated by a former state highway patrol officer."

"I read the ad," she said. "I thought he was trustworthy."

The Herald is not identifying the mother to protect her daughter's identity. The Herald generally does not identity the victims of sex crimes.

Until recently, a voice mail for the driving academy listed an Oct. 13 class at the Hampton Inn in Rock Hill. Now, the voice mail refers callers to Zitcovich's attorney.