Pirates 3B Jung Ho Kang faces DUI-related charges in Korea

Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang has been arrested and charged with leaving the scene of a DUI accident in his native South Korea, according to a report from the Yonhap News Agency.

Kang had a blood alcohol level of 0.084, above the Korean legal limit of 0.05, when he fled the scene of an accident near a Seoul subway station at 2:45 a.m. Korea Standard Time on Friday, the report said.

The Associated Press reported that police were investigating Kang over suspicions that he crashed a luxury car into a guardrail while driving under the influence of alcohol and then left the scene. According to the AP, Seoul police on Friday said they were also investigating whether Kang asked a friend to falsely report who was driving the vehicle.

Kang released a statement late Thursday through his Seoul-based agency, Leeco Sports, apologizing for "an irrevocable mistake."

"I'd like to apologize to everyone who is disappointed with me," Kang said in his statement. "Today, I got behind the wheel after drinking and committed an irrevocable mistake. I panicked at the moment of the accident and did something that I never should have done. I am deeply regretting the incident. I will humbly accept whatever punishment is deemed fit for my actions."

It is Kang's third DUI arrest in South Korea since 2009, Seoul police told Yonhap on Monday, as reported in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. A third-offense DUI charge in South Korea results in a driver's license revocation as part of a "three strikes" law, the paper said, citing Yonhap.

Pirates president Frank Coonelly said in a statement that the team has been made aware of what he called "very serious charges" filed against Kang.

"We are extremely disappointed in Jung Ho and in his decision process during this matter," Coonelly said. "I know firsthand how foolish and dangerous it is to drive under the influence and am most thankful that, as we understand it, no one was injured.

"We will have further comment once we have been able to gather all of the relevant facts and speak with the player.''

Coonelly was arrested in December 2011 for driving under the influence. The Pirates' president subsequently apologized and was ordered by a judge to enter a program for first-time offenders.

The DUI incident marks Kang's second brush with the law this year. In July, Chicago police said a 23-year-old woman reported that she had been assaulted by Kang at a hotel in the city after meeting him through a dating app. Police said the woman alleged that she had a drink, faded in and out of consciousness and was sexually assaulted by Kang.

According to reports in September, police attempted to contact the woman for follow-up questioning but were unable to locate her.

Kang, 29, signed a four-year, $11 million contract with the Pirates in January 2015 after playing nine years in the Korea Baseball Organization.

Kang finished third in the 2015 National League Rookie of the Year voting, and he has hit .273 with 36 home runs and an .838 OPS in 229 games with Pittsburgh the past two seasons.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.