Lifestyle & Belief

Trial of Douglas Kennedy, son of Robert F. Kennedy, on child endangerment charges begins


Women walk past the flame burning on the grave of late US President John F. Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington, DC.


Nicholas Kamm

Douglas Kennedy, son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, has begun his defense against charges that he endangered his newborn son and harassed nurses at a New York hospital earlier this year.

Kennedy's attorney told Mount Kisco Village Court that her client was acting on instinct when he kicked a maternity ward nurse at Northern Westchester Hospital on Jan. 7, the Associated Press reported.

The nurse had tried to stop Kennedy from taking his newborn son Bo "out for some fresh air," Celia Gordon said.

One nurse has said Kennedy, a Fox News reporter, twisted her arm and the other said he kicked her in the pelvis so hard that she fell to the floor.

Two hospital-wide alarms — "code purple" and "code pink" — were called to declare a missing baby and security officers stopped Kennedy from leaving the hospital.

More from GlobalPost: Douglas Kennedy, RFK's son, charged with child endangerment over hospital melee

The prosecution maintains Kennedy violated hospital policy when he tried to move the child.

However, according to the AP, Gordon said nurses overreacted abrasively, leading to a scuffle.

Fox News cited Timothy Haydock, a doctor at the hospital and a longtime family friend, as saying that nurses had initially agreed to let Kennedy take the baby outside.

"The nurses were the only aggressors," Haydock said in a statement delivered by Kennedy's attorney.

Kennedy has previously denied the allegations, saying that "the nurse had no right to grab our child out of his father's arms."

"We're ready for justice to be done," UPI quoted Kennedy as saying upon entering the courtroom. "We're just ready for this to start."

Kennedy is the 10th of 11 children of Robert and Ethel Kennedy. His uncle, President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated in 1963, while his father was assassinated in 1968