Skip to comments.Exclusive: RFK's Son Arrested in Westchester Hospital Maternity Unit Clash, Police Say
Posted on 02/24/2012 8:11:38 PM PST by Hunton Peck
The son of Robert F. Kennedy has been charged with harassment and endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly clashing with two nurses who tried to stop him from taking his 2-day-old baby boy from a Westchester maternity unit, NBC New York has learned.
According to a Mount Kisco, N.Y. police report obtained by NBC New York, Douglas Kennedy, 44, took his baby from the newborn unit of Northern Westchester Hospital on Jan. 7, against the instructions of hospital staff who told him the infant needed to stay there. The arrest was on misdemeanor charges.
Kennedy and his wife, Molly, disputed the accusations in a statement to NBC New York, saying "these allegations are absurd."
The nurse in charge of the unit, Anna Margaret Lane, said in a deposition that Kennedy wanted to take the child "to get fresh air" that evening. As he tried to leave, he was accompanied by a doctor from the hospital's emergency room, identified in court papers as "Dr. Haydock," later determined to be Dr. Timothy Haydock, a longtime family friend.
While the nursing staff sought to get Kennedy to return the baby to his bassinet, Haydock reportedly encouraged Kennedy to walk with the baby by telling nurses that he was with him, according to Lane's deposition.
Kennedy ignored the pleas of the nursing staff and carried the newborn -- identified in court papers as "B.K." -- to the elevator, police said. As the nursing staff tried to calm him and dissuade him from leaving the hospital, Kennedy turned and walked toward a stairwell leading to the outside of the hospital.
Lane blocked the doorway, "placing both hands on the doorknob" to prevent Kennedy from leaving, police said. Kennedy grabbed the nurse by her left wrist and twisted it to that he could pass into the stairwell, police said.
The baby's head "began to move from side to side, and in an attempt to stabilize the baby's head, nurse Cari Maleman Luciano reached toward the infant's head," police said.
"Instinctively as a nurse, I raised both my arms toward the neck of the baby to steady the violent shaking of the baby's head and neck," Luciano told investigators in a deposition.
While holding the child in his right arm, Kennedy kicked Luciano in the pelvis with his right foot, knocking her backward onto the floor, police said.
As he did this, Kennedy fell onto the floor with the baby in his arms. Kennedy then got up and ran "down the stairs with the infant until he was stopped by security and escorted back to the infant's room," the police report said.
The police report did not say whether the infant was harmed in the altercation.
The statement to NBC New York from Kennedy and his wife said there was no crime committed.
"The nurse had no right to attempt to grab our child out of his father's arms and I, Douglas, was shocked and appalled when she did so," the statement said.
Haydock said in a statement to NBC New York that Kennedy, whom he has known for more than 40 years, was not putting his healthy baby at risk by seeking to take him for a walk outside.
"I witnessed the incident and I can state unequivocally that the nurses were the only aggressors," he said. "To charge Mr. Kennedy with a crime is simply incomprehensible to me."
Kennedy is the 10th child of Robert F. and Ethel Kennedy. He and Molly have four children.
A Brown University graduate, Kennedy started his journalism career with The New York Post and most recently worked as a general assignment reporter and bi-monthly news program host for Fox News.
And so easily offended too.
We've experienced both. The home delivery was so much more harmonious than the hospital, even tho the doctor made a special trip on Christmas morning to sign off for us to leave. So kind.
When we wanted to research home births, only two doctors in the area would do it at the time ~ Dr. Repaire & Doctor Butcher (no kidding.) Both were very good, but we went with Repaire!
How is this only a misdemeanor?
My question exactly?
It’s a felony to assault a nurse in NY
Why didn’t the doctor friend write an order “OK to take infant outside for fresh air” or a “discharge to home”
If he took the baby without an order the nurse would lose her job and because he is a “Kennedy” she would probably lose her license.
Seems to me the Kennedy spin doctors are at work here. Hope the nurses have a good lawyer.
‘And so easily offended too.’
How dare you say that! That’s offensive to women. ;)
Midwives are awesome.
“I really wish people would read my posts more carefully so I don’t have to do a remedial lesson.”
Oh, come off it. In the context of this situation, which is what everyone is discussing, I read your comment to be defending the behavior of the nurses, by asserting that they had the authority to override Mr. Kennedy (and his child’s) civil rights.
Now, you seem to be asserting something else, and in fact your further explanation seems to prove my point. After all, the nurses did not do what you are claiming they should have done, which is report their concerns to the proper authorities, but instead took it upon themselves to act outside their authority and outside the law.
If you think that nurses can take it upon themselves to falsely imprison anyone, especially a NON-PATIENT, and then cover themselves by asserting mental incompetence after the fact, then offer up some evidence of that, because I don’t believe it.
Here’s a link to a legal resource discussing the issue of false imprisonment and hospitals:
Here’s another one that is warning nursing professionals of the legal risks associated with these issues:
Nowhere in those resources do I see it asserted that simply thinking someone might not be mentally fit gives nurses a valid defense against those claims. Besides which, in this case, I don’t see the hospital staff ever claiming that Mr. Kennedy was incompetent, which they surely would have if they thought it would be such an airtight defense against liability, as you are asserting.
Worked? Seems he is unemployed.
by seeking to take him for a walk outside
The baby walks?
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Now THAT’S funny!
It will be interesting to see how this case is resolved. Keep in mind: no one twisted Kennedy’s arm and forced his wife to give birth in that hospital. The hospital, like any other private business, has the right to operate as it chooses. When you choose to go to a hospital you are required to sign many documents upon entry, which I assume are LEGAL. It’s possible that Kennedy agreed beforehand to all of the actions the nurses took and doesn’t realize it because he never read the fine print. If the Kennedys didn’t want to follow their policies they should have had a home birth or chosen a different hospital.
Not a sir.
You are right.I had no idea that was who he was.I knew he was a Kennedy by looks and name but did not know he was RFKs son.
Sorry about that. I actually read your profile before responding, too!
I guess it’s true that men just don’t listen.
Even though it was I imagine it was cold outside; this jerk with 4 children already should know that you don’t take new borns into public. Hmmm, could he be on something? For the Kennedys probably so.