Nurses React to Kennedy Baby Brouhaha

LAUER: We're back now at 7:50, with a hospital altercation that's landed a member of the Kennedy family in trouble with the law. Jonathan Deets, the chief investigative reporter for WNBC in New York has the latest.

JONATHAN DEETS: Douglas Kennedy, the son of Robert Kennedy, faces charges of endangering the welfare of a child and harassment, following his attempt to leave a hospital maternity ward in January with his three-day-old son. The two nurses involved in this incident spoke with us exclusively, claiming they were physically attacked for doing their job.

NURSE: To be assaulted because you're protecting the best interests of a baby? That's not okay.

DEETS: Anna Lane, a supervising nurse in the maternity word of Northern Westchester Hospital is still upset over her run-in with Douglas Kennedy. Lane and her colleague say they became concerned when they saw Kennedy carrying his three-day-old son, attempting to take the baby out of a hospital without proper authorization.

NURSE: They were requested to call a code pink, which is an infant abduction.

DEETS: Security cameras show Kennedy trying to board an elevator.

NURSE: We kept saying to him, we need to step out of the elevator. We need to get the baby back to your room, back in the bassinet and safe.

DEETS: What is he saying or what is he doing?

NURSE: I don't have to listen to you. That's my child, I’m going out for fresh air.

DEETS: The security footage then shows Kennedy headed for the stairwell, and that's when the nurses say things turned ugly.

NURSE: Standing at the door and he grabs my wrist and turns my hand, and I still have pain in my arm.

DEETS: Once inside the stairwell, nurse Luciano says she was attacked by Kennedy.

NURSE: I wanted to make sure the baby was safe and secure. He brought his leg up and kicked me and I went flying through the air.

DEETS: Out of camera range, they say Kennedy fell to the ground, his newborn still in his arms.

NURSE: I’m petrified that the baby is going to go flying down the stairs.

DEETS: The baby was uninjured. According to the nurses, Kennedy got up and went down the stairs where he was stopped by security. Kennedy is a reporter at Fox News.

KENNEDY: It's about incumbents.

DEETS: And is the tenth of 11 children born to Robert and Ethel Kennedy. The father of five was charged last week with endangering the welfare of a child and harassment. He's entered a plea of not guilty. Kennedy and his wife, who claim their newborn son slept through the entire incident, blame the two nurses, saying "It's sickening to think our simple desire to take our son outside for fresh air has been warped into a charge of child endangerment." A representative for Kennedy says the couple received permission from other hospital personnel to leave the floor with the newborn.

NURSE: I was doing my job. And this is traumatic.

DEETS: The hospital has issued a statement saying it stands by the actions of the nursing staff. But on Wednesday, Kennedy's wife went to a hospital ombudsman to file a formal complaint. This is as the nurses are planning to file a lawsuit against Mr. Kennedy.

LAUER: The next step in terms of any criminal proceedings would be?

DEETS: He's due in court in April. In the meantime, his lawyers are going to the prosecutors to try to get the case dropped.

Published under: Crime Blotter , Video