Entries in Douglas Kennedy (2)


Douglas Kennedy Fights Child-Endangerment Charges in New York Court

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The son of the late Sen. Robert Kennedy began his defense Monday against charges that he endangered his newborn son and harassed the baby's nurses at a New York hospital earlier this year, arguing that he kicked a nurse by instinct.

Douglas Kennedy, 44, watched in court as his attorney began telling his side of the Jan. 7 incident in which Kennedy tried to take his 2-day-old son from the maternity ward at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco, N.Y.

It's unclear how far he went with the baby. He has pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charges.

Nurses reportedly told Kennedy not to remove the baby from the ward, but he did so anyway after tussling with the nurses. The prosecution alleges that Kennedy twisted the arm of a nurse during his attempt to exit the hospital, and kicked another nurse in the abdomen when she tried to take the baby from his arms.

The altercation between Kennedy and the nurses was caught on surveillance video, which was played throughout the first day of the trial Monday.

Robert Gottlieb, Kennedy's attorney, argued Monday that the hospital had no policy banning fathers from taking their babies out of the hospital. Gottlieb also pointed out that Kennedy remained calm for much of the confrontation as he sought permission to take the baby outside while accompanied by a friend of his who is a medical doctor.

Gottlieb also referred to the kick in the abdomen as "instinctual," in terms of Kennedy's protecting his child.

During a court appearance in April, Kennedy had described the incident in terms of his own father's assassination when he was young.

"My father was taken away from me when I was a baby," Kennedy said outside the courthouse. "It is OK for a father to hold his son in his arms."

Douglas Kennedy is the 10th child of Robert and Ethel Kennedy. Robert Kennedy was shot and killed in 1968 while running for president.

Kennedy's wife, Molly, called the charges "absurd" earlier this year.

"It is sickening to think that our simple desire to take our son outside for fresh air has been warped into a charge of child endangerment," she said in a statement.

The trial is expected to last "a few days," Gottlieb said. It will be decided by a judge, not a jury.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Nurses Will Likely Sue Douglas Kennedy, Attorney Says

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A lawyer for two nurses who claim they were physically abused by Robert F. Kennedy’s son Douglas Kennedy in a tussle over his infant said they are likely to sue as two new witnesses came forward to back up their story. Attorney Elliot Taub said the new witnesses will corroborate his clients’ version of the Jan. 7 confrontation.

The nurses allege Kennedy twisted one’s wrist and kicked the other while they tried to prevent him from taking his 2-day old son from the maternity ward at Northern Westchester Hospital in New York. Kennedy has said he was taking his baby, Beau, out for some fresh air when nurses tried to stop him from getting on the elevator. So he headed to the stairs, where he was blocked again.

A confrontation ensued. Surveillance video appears to show Kennedy in a violent scuffle with two nurses. On the video, Kennedy can be seen lifting his leg, and then a nurse falls backwards onto the floor.

In court documents obtained by ABC News, nurse Cari Luciano claims Kennedy attacked her.

“As my hand touched the shoulders of the baby, Douglas Kennedy, raised his right foot, and with tremendous force, kicked me in the left side of my pelvic area,” Luciano said, according to the documents.

The nurse claims she called two alerts: code pink, child abduction in progress, and code purple, a combative party.

Kennedy was arrested by Mount Kisco police on misdemeanor charges of child endangerment and harassment relating to the incident. He has pleaded not guilty.

The nurses’ attorney says his clients’ actions were by the book.

“They did their job, did a darn good job, were violated, injured and now you have people … casting blame on them. Shame. It’s disgusting,” he said.

Nurses are trained to prevent people taking newborns from the ward without permission since people who try to abduct babies are often family members, Taub said. Kennedy had no reason to lash out, Taub added.

Robert Gottlieb, Kennedy’s lawyer, has said the nurses lunged at his client while he was holding his newborn child and he had to protect the child.

In response to that claim, Taub replied: “I can see readily while he’s out of the scope of the video, very carefully orchestrated with nice lawyer spin, to put this in a position where you can’t see it on video, so now you can come forward with any scenario you want.”

The two new eyewitnesses are fellow nurses who will support his clients, he said, adding that there could be further evidence showing Kennedy may have exhibited unusual prior behavior on the ward, although Taub offered no proof to back up that claim.

Gottlieb said he believes the nurses pressed charges because they want money.

The hospital has issued a statement in support of the nurses, but Dr. Timothy Haydock – an on-duty doctor at the hospital and Kennedy friend who witnessed the incident — said Kennedy did nothing wrong and the nurses were the only aggressors.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio