US

Mother Sentenced to Prison For Running Over Son After He Refused to Go to School

By Zachary Stieber

A Michigan mother who admitted running over her 9-year-old son after he refused to go to school was sentenced to time in prison.

Tiffany Kosakowski, 36, was charged with child abuse and reckless driving after running over her own son in December 2018.

Kent County Sheriff’s investigators said that video footage and witness accounts showed that the single mother was pulling away from Chandler Woods Charter Academy in Grand Rapids while her third-grade son was hanging from the passenger side front door handle, reported WOOD-TV. He lost his grip and was run over by the rear tire of the SUV.

While officials said Kosakowski then stopped, they ultimately decided it wasn’t an accident.

The charging affidavit filed in court stated that “Tiffany was aware of (the boy’s) presence” at the door and “knowingly drove the vehicle in a manner that was likely to, and did, cause serious physical injury.”

Kosakowski was not booked into jail but was instead processed at the courthouse. Sgt. Joel Roon of the Kent County Sheriff’s Department said she had no criminal history and was cooperating with investigators and spending most of her time at the hospital with her boy.

He suffered multiple fractures to his skull, bleeding on the brain, brain swelling, and other injuries.

According to a petition filed in court later in December alleging abuse and neglect, Kosakowski accelerated just moments after telling her son to go back into the school.

Child Protective Services (CPS) said in the petition, which was obtained by MLive, that Kosakowski told investigators that her son followed her out of the school and to her vehicle. She got inside and backed up before stopping and telling him to go back to school.

“Ms. Kosakowski admitted (her son) did not go back in school but continued to walk alongside the vehicle,” CPS workers wrote. “Ms. Kosakowski admitted to moving the steering wheel from left to right, then accelerating the vehicle knowing (her son) continued to be next to the vehicle.”

Earlier this year, Kosakowski pleaded guilty to the reckless driving charge in a plea deal that saw the child abuse charge dropped.

At the sentencing hearing on April 19, Kosakowski said she regretted what she had done.

“I just want to express that I am remorseful,” she said in Kent County Circuit Court, according to MLive. “I’ll have to live with this for the rest of my life.”

Judge Curt Benson sentenced Kosakowski to six months in jail with all but 30 days suspended. He said she could serve the term on weekends only if jail officials approve.

Benson said he didn’t doubt Kosakowki’s stated remorse but added that what she did was “simply inexcusable” before referring to how she drove for nearly 50 yards with her son clinging to the handle before being crushed by the tire.

“Your little boy has suffered terribly,” Benson added.

Kosakowski still cares for her son and twin sister but a custody case is pending before a Family Court judge. A relative currently has custody of both children.

The boy’s father, John Rodriguez, said that something was wrong with his former partner and said that her acts were “unstable, irrational, and reckless.”

He said he last saw his son five years prior to the incident. Then he saw him at the hospital in a coma.

“His head covered in wires [and] tubes, and sensors in his mouth and all over his little body,” Rodriguez said, reported WZZM. He said that Kosakowski has a history of unstable behavior.