Douglas Kennedy, the son of Robert F. Kennedy, has been arrested on misdemeanor charges of child endangerment and harassment relating to a Jan. 7 scuffle in the maternity unit of Northern Westchester Hospital.
Two nurses allege Kennedy twisted one’s wrist and kicked the other while they tried to prevent him from taking his two-day old son outside.
“These charges are absurd,” Kennedy and his wife, Molly said in a statement. “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.”
Kennedy was accompanied by a family friend, Dr. Timothy Haydock, who was also an on-duty doctor at the hospital, during the Jan. 7 skirmish.
“I witnessed the incident and I can state unequivocally that the nurses were the only aggressors,” Haydock said.
The two men stopped by the nurses’ station with Kennedy’s newborn son, who was bundled in blankets and wearing a hat, before heading toward the elevators, where the incident was captured on surveillance video.
“Everything was calm and civil. He didn’t run out with the baby,” Kennedy’s attorney, Robert Gottlieb told ABCNews.com.
Gottlieb said a nurse came onto the scene “acting aggressively” and “yelling.” She prevented Kennedy from using the elevator, so he headed toward the stairs and tried to open the door while holding his baby.
“Another other nurse now lunges to grab the child from his arms. Douglas lifts his knee and pushes her away, only to protect his newborn son and to prevent her from grabbing the child from him,” Gottlieb said.
After other personnel arrived, Kennedy returned the baby to his room.
Gottlieb said his client received a letter from a lawyer on Jan. 23.
“It’s clear what this is all about. They’re looking to cash in,” he said. “Now we’ll deal with the criminal charges.”
Kennedy was arrested Thursday by Mount Kisco, N.Y., police.
A message left for Northern Westchester Hospital and the nurses’ lawyer was not returned.