MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Accompanied by his wife, Douglas Kennedy came to Criminal Court on Thursday to face child endangerment and physical harassment charges.
Kennedy, son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, is accused of getting into a physical confrontation with two nurses at Northern Westchester Hospital after trying to take his newborn son out for fresh air. He has pleaded not guilty.
“I was protecting my son from a complete stranger who tried to grab him from my arms,” he said.
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“Our lives have been turned upside down, because my husband, simply because my husband wanted to take a walk with his son,” wife Molly Kennedy said.
In January, surveillance cameras captured Kennedy attempting to leave Northern Westchester with his newborn, which is against hospital policy. The video shows two nurses trying to stop him and one nurse being pushed to the ground.
“My father was taken away from me. I was a baby. I think that was certainly what makes me appreciate me being with my son. The only thing I wanted to do that night was to be with my son and to hold him in my arms,” Kennedy said.
In a statement earlier the month, Kennedy and his wife said, “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.”
“It’s clear what this case has been about since day one. It has nothing to do about Mr. Kennedy receiving any favored treatment. It has everything to do with certain individuals who take advantage of a situation to try to line their pockets,” said Robert Gottlieb, Kennedy’s attorney.
Friends of the nurses involved and members of a local union rallied outside court, demanding Kennedy be charged with felony assault of a nurse on duty.
Supporters said the nurses were just following hospital protocol.
“If you don’t like the rules it does not give you the right to put your hands on another person. That’s what this is about. It has nothing to do with money,” Kristi Wilkenloh told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.
“I just think, you know, if it was you or me or anyone else there would’ve been new charges, felony charges,” added DeBorah Briston, RN.
A state investigation found no evidence of child abuse.
Can you relate with Douglas Kennedy on this issue, or do you believe he should have maintained his composure? Offer your thoughts below…