The trial for a son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, accused in a maternity ward scuffle, began on Monday in Westchester County, New York.
Douglas Kennedy is charged with physical harassment and child endangerment, both misdemeanors. On Jan. 7, Kennedy allegedly tried to take his 2-day-old son from the maternity ward at Northern Westchester Hospital.
Nurses tried to stop him and two claimed he injured them. One nurse said Kennedy twisted her arm and the other said he kicked her in the pelvis. Security officers eventually stopped Kennedy from leaving the hospital.
In opening statements, according to the Associated Press, the defense argued that a nurse overreacted to Kennedy’s attempt to get some fresh air for his son. The prosecution maintains Kennedy violated hospital policy when he tried to move the child.
The first witness, a hospital security chief, said the incident set off a hospital-wide “code pink” indicating an abduction. But he said that by the time he called police, he knew the baby was safely back in the maternity ward.
Kennedy, a television reporter, was arrested in February. A state investigation, including a visit to the Kennedy home in Chappaqua, found no evidence of child abuse.
Kennedy is the 10th of 11 children of Robert and Ethel Kennedy. Robert Kennedy, the senator from New York, was assassinated in 1968. Douglas Kennedy’s uncle President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.
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