The son of slain US senator Robert Kennedy is facing misdemeanor charges stemming from a confrontation with two nurses that occurred as he was trying to take his newborn baby for fresh air, his attorney said on Saturday.
Douglas Kennedy, 44, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and two counts of harassment following the Jan. 7 incident at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, New York, his lawyer, Robert Gottlieb, said.
Kennedy, a Fox News reporter and 10th child of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, said he did nothing wrong. He was arraigned on Thursday in Mount Kisco on the charges, Gottlieb said.
The attorney said the clash occurred when the two nurses at the suburban New York hospital physically tried to stop Kennedy from taking his newborn son, Bo, out of the maternity ward, even though he had already received permission from some other nurses.
“Douglas did not do anything wrong. All he wanted to do was to take his newborn son out for fresh air,” Gottlieb said.
An attorney for the two nurses could not be reached for comment.
A spokesman for the hospital confirmed an incident occurred on Jan. 7 on the maternity ward, but declined to provide any details because of patient confidentiality.
Officials with the Mount Kisco police and the district attorney’s office could not be reached for comment.
Gottlieb said that as Kennedy was leaning against a door to back out of the maternity ward, a nurse came toward him.
Kennedy lifted his left knee and it came into contact with the nurse, “but only to protect his son,” Gottlieb said.
The nurse fell backward, Gottlieb said. The second nurse accused Kennedy of twisting her arm, a charge he denies, Gottlieb said.
Kennedy returned the baby to the maternity ward rather than go outside, Gottlieb said.
Kennedy and his wife, Molly, said in a statement the allegations were “absurd.”
“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,” the couple said.
Timothy Haydock, an emergency room physician at Northern Westchester Hospital and a close family friend, issued a statement through Gottlieb’s office.
“I witnessed the incident and I can state unequivocally that the nurses were the only aggressors,” Haydock said.