This photo shows the side and rear of the Mazda that police believe Berkley City Councilman Alan Kideckel struck while driving his Toyota Jan. 1.

This photo shows the side and rear of the Mazda that police believe Berkley City Councilman Alan Kideckel struck while driving his Toyota Jan. 1.

Photo provided by the Berkley Public Safety Department


Berkley councilman resigns following hit-and-run accident charge

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published January 29, 2018

 Police took this photograph of the front of a Toyota that they say belongs to Kideckel after he allegedly was involved in a hit-and-run.

Police took this photograph of the front of a Toyota that they say belongs to Kideckel after he allegedly was involved in a hit-and-run.

Photo provided by the Berkley Public Safety Department

 Kideckel

Kideckel

BERKLEY — A Berkley city councilman has resigned following a hit-and-run accident that police say he caused during the early-morning hours of New Year’s Day.

Councilman Alan Kideckel announced Jan. 29 in a press release that he has submitted his resignation to the city of Berkley. He was charged with leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident and failing to yield after striking another vehicle at around 2:09 a.m. Jan. 1 in the area of Oakshire Avenue and Beverly Boulevard.

Kideckel said in a statement that he has “proudly volunteered and served the city of Berkley for over 25 years” and has “always considered the Berkley community as my family.”

“On Jan. 1, 2018, I was involved in an automobile accident and received a misdemeanor ticket,” he wrote. “My sincere and heartfelt apology is extended to the people in the other vehicle and anyone else who I affected. Due to the pending court proceedings, I am unable to comment any further on the facts at this time.”

Kideckel further stated that he has “always done what is best” for Berkley, but he feels that his continued presence as a member of the City Council would distract the city from “moving forward in a positive direction.”

“Effectively immediately, I hereby tender my resignation from the Berkley City Council. I am thankful to the residents for the opportunity to serve and for their continued support. I look forward to helping and contributing to the city of Berkley as a private citizen, in healthy and positive ways,” he said.

According to the city, the council will act on Kideckel’s resignation at the council’s Feb. 5 meeting, and the council will have 30 days from that point to select his replacement. Kideckel’s unexpired term will come to an end in November 2019.

According to a police report, the Public Safety Department received a call of a hit-and-run and arrived at the scene to find a white Mazda that had suffered heavy damage to the driver’s side of the vehicle.

The driver, a 27-year-old Wyandotte woman, told police that she had been driving west down Beverly with her husband when a tan-gold vehicle failed to stop at a stop sign while going northbound on Oakshire. The vehicle continued to head north and left the scene, according to police.

The woman, who said she was 13 weeks pregnant, and her husband declined medical care at the scene, but she did go to the hospital the next day for a checkup because of her pregnancy, according to the Public Safety Department. Her vehicle, however, was not able to be driven and had to be towed.

Berkley Public Safety Detective Lt. Andrew Hadfield said that at around 2:55 a.m., an officer noticed a vehicle in a driveway that had damage and was warm.

“We were able to match pieces from the accident scene to the vehicle,” he said

Hadfield said the Public Safety Department put the vehicle information for the damaged Toyota Camry into the Law Enforcement Information Network, which confirmed that the vehicle was owned by Kideckel. Hadfield said officers knocked at the councilman’s home to speak with him, but no one answered the door. Authorities cleared the scene at around 3:30 a.m, but they left their information at Kideckel’s home.

At around 8:30 a.m. the next morning, police received a call from Kideckel to report the accident. Hadfield said he asked Kideckel to come to the Public Safety Department to speak about the accident, which he did at around 4 p.m.

“I’m not going to go into his statements about what he said,” Hadfield said. “I advised him that I believed he was involved in an accident and that I wanted him to come meet with me, and he did meet with me that afternoon.”

According to the report, Kideckel said he had gone to the Berkley American Legion and consumed four drinks. He then went to Mr. J’s, but claimed he had no drinks, according to the report. He said he was traveling down Wiltshire Road to Oakshire Avenue, where he saw the other vehicle, but he thought they were speeding, according to the report.

Kideckel, according to the report, said he did strike the vehicle, but he thought the other vehicle continued going to Greenfield Road, so he went home. He also said that he never heard the officers knock at his door, and that he was not intoxicated at the time, according to the report.

Hadfield said he couldn’t speculate on why Kideckel didn’t speak to the police right away.

“We investigate any crash for what the cause could be. In this case, the first part is to make sure we make contact with him. We did attempt that for about 30 minutes, trying to get him contacted. There was no evidence from the vehicle that he was injured. Whether he did not know we were there or didn’t want to come to the door is not something I’m going to speculate to. At that point, he had not answered the door,” Hadfield said. 

“In regards to somebody being involved in a crash like that, there could be that possibility (of avoiding police because of having consumed intoxicants). He did admit to consuming intoxicants during the night. On the other hand, with the time difference from the time of the crash to the time we had located the vehicle and were trying to make contact, it’s almost an hour. And proving an operating while intoxicated at that point actually becomes very tough when you have an hour delay from the time of the crash to the time you find (the driver).”

Hadfield also confirmed that Kideckel was not booked, fingerprinted or photographed. Hadfield elaborated in an email that it’s not a requirement under Michigan Compiled Laws 257.622 for someone to be fingerprinted. He also said the charge of leaving the scene of an accident is a 90-day misdemeanor, which means it requires the act to occur in an officer’s presence or shortly after with probable cause. 

“Locating the car 45 minutes later and not being able to contact the suspected owner or driver does not provide enough evidence for an arrest,” he wrote. “That doesn’t mean we cannot (charge) someone after they are located.”

Kideckel’s next court date is a hearing scheduled for Feb. 22 at the 44th District Court. A press release from the city of Berkley states that City Attorney John Staran referred the prosecution of the case to Royal Oak.

Kideckel’s attorney, Trevor B. Garrison, could not be reached for comment by press time.