MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. — Emergency room physician Dr. Timothy Haydock took the stand Thursday, the first and only witness for the defense in the trial of Douglas Kennedy.
This was the fourth day of the trial at Mount Kisco Village Court, in which Kennedy, the youngest son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of harassment and endangering the welfare of a child, both misdemeanors.
Haydock, a Kennedy family friend, was present during the Jan. 7 altercation between Kennedy and two nurses at Northern Westchester Hospital.
The defense had argued earlier that the nurses overreacted when Kennedy attempted to leave the maternity unit with his newborn son, Bo, to go outside for some "fresh air."
Nurses Anna Lane and Cari Luciano, saw Kennedy and attempted to stop him from taking the baby into the elevator and then the stairwell, according to their testimony. Lane said Kennedy twisted her arm as she held the door, and Luciano said he kicked her when she made a move to steady the baby.
Haydock told the New York Daily News in the days after the event: “I witnessed the incident and I can state unequivocally that the nurses were the only aggressors.”
Haydock testified that Kennedy told him he would follow him downstairs, and “I thought that would be fine. I thought that would be great,” so they walked over to the nurses’ station to get permission.
Haydock said the tone of the situation changed when Lane arrived at the nurses’ station and harshly told Kennedy it was against hospital policy to take his son outside.
Haydock characterized Lane’s behavior and tone of voice as “very aggressive” and Luciano’s sudden move toward the baby at the stairwell as “lunging,” while describing Kennedy’s behavior as “reasonable and calm” throughout.
The prosecution drove home the point that Haydock chiefly works at White Plains Hospital and spends about five days a month at Northern Westchester Hospital and so was not familiar with hospital policy.
The prosecution also focused on Haydock's admission that he was not wearing his ID card that night and so could not be readily identified by the nurses on duty.
Before the trial resumed Thursday, the defense made a motion to dismiss the case on grounds that the prosecution had not proved either of the two charges.
The defense denied that Kennedy knowingly did anything likely to cause his child harm, and said did he not intentionally harass or alarm the nurses.
However, Assistant District Attorney Amy Puerto argued that “intent can be formed instantaneously.”
The justice said he would like to wrap up the case on Friday.
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