Douglas Kennedy, 44, a son of the late Sen Robert F. Kennedy, made the decision to kick a nurse when his parental instincts were aroused by her efforts to stop him from taking his newborn son out of the hospital, Kennedy's defense lawyer reportedly said in court on Monday.
According to the Daily Mail, during Douglas Kennedy's opening statements at a harassment and child endangerment trial, attorney Celia Gordon told the court Kennedy 'just wanted to take his baby out for some fresh air' on January 7 at Northern Westchester Hospital.
Kennedy's legal defense reportedly added that the nurses had simply overreacted abrasively, leading to a scuffle.
But prosecutor Amy Puerto said Kennedy had to be stopped because he was violating hospital policy. She countered that he refused to obey the nurses, one of whom was injured when he 'kicked her so hard in the abdomen that she fell to the floor.' A second nurse was also hurt when Kennedy twisted her arm, Puerto said.
A flurry of alarms went off off during the incident, witnesses said. First Kennedy allegedly took a security band off the baby boy, who had been born just two days earlier, setting off the first alarm.
Then two hospital-wide alarms ('code purple' and 'code pink') went off to report a disorderly situation and a missing baby.
The nurses reportedly classified the situation as a code pink because Kennedy had been 'violently' shaking the child.
Kennedy, with his son in his arms, had approached the nurses' station with a request to take the baby outside, but nurse Angela Adamo said she tried to dissuade him because his request 'didn't seem to make much sense to me.'
Adamo added that the baby, in a hat and blanket, wasn't appropriately dressed.
Anna Lane, another nurse, testified today that Kennedy then moved to the elevator and stairwell, where she and nurse Carrie Luciano tried to block his way.
Lane said: 'He grabbed my left hand... and twisted my arm. He kicked Carrie and she went flying in one direction and he went in the other direction.'
But Gordon said that when one nurse reached for the baby, Kennedy kicked the nurse instinctively.
'He was trying to keep her from taking his baby,' she said.
Gordon said the nurses claiming injury, who are expected to testify later in the trial, plan to sue Kennedy and have already demanded thousands of dollars. That gives them reason to lie, she said.
Kennedy's wife Molly came to court with him on Monday. She was in the hospital recovering from the birth at the time of the incident.
The couple issued a statement in February that said: 'Our simple desire to take our son outside for fresh air has been warped into a charge of child endangerment.'