.

ER Doc Felt Taking Kennedy Baby Outside Was 'Fine'

Dr. Timothy Haydock, longtime friend and emergency room doctor, vouches for Kennedy's credibility, while prosecution hits at his.

The Northern Westchester Hospital emergency room doctor who was present with Douglas Kennedy when he tried to bring his newborn son outside of the building felt, at the time, that doing so was “fine.”

“I thought it would be great,” said Dr. Timothy Haydock, who testified Thursday in Mount Kisco Justice Court for the fourth day of Kennedy's trial. Kennedy is charged with child endangerment and harassment over his attempt to move his infant son Bo out of the maternity ward on Jan. 7 for fresh air.

Haydock, who said he became friends with the Kennedy family in the late 1960s when he was a tennis instructor in Hyannis Port, MA, testified that he knew Douglas Kennedy since he was three months old.

“We're very close, we're very good friends,” he said, adding that he knew Kennedy's wife, Molly, since they were dating in the 1980s.

The doctor, who worked part-time at NWH but full time at White Plains Hospital, testified that he arrived that night for his emergency room shift for around 7 p.m. With a cleared plate for work in ER, Haydock decided to go to the maternity ward on the third floor to see the Kennedys' and their son Bo, who was born on Jan. 5. When Haydock, arriving, he described having “small talk” such as how they were doing.

Haydock testified that when he said he was going to head back to the ER, Douglas Kennedy suggested taking the baby outside to get fresh air and to look at the moon.

“I said that's fine and we went out to the nursing station,” Haydock said. For the occasion, he also described Bo as “pretty warmly dressed.”

Haydock's testimony protrayed Kennedy as largely calm, along with that of the station nurses. He also testified that Kennedy received station help in removing Bo's bracelet, and that a response from the station about needing a basinet for transporting the baby, which Kennedy retrieved but did not use, made him believe they were then going to go out.

It was suggested that the intervention of the nurses who alleged Kennedy made aggressive physical contact with him, Anna Lane and Cari Luciano, changed the situation for the worse. The doctor, on cross examination from the defense, explained that tension in the dialogue came when a nurse – it was Anna Lane, based on other testimony, but she was not named by him – came up to Kennedy and indicated there was “no way” he was going to take the baby outside. Haydock added that she then threatened to call a Code Pink alert, which covers infant abduction.

Haydock said he knew “this is clearly not an abduction,” of the infant. He also added that it was “non consistent” with what Code Pink is for. A Code Pink, along with a Code Purple alert that's used for agitated people, was eventually called at Lane's request.

The demeanor of Kennedy and Lane got more contentious, he explained, describing Lane's tone as “aggressive and strident and loud.” Kennedy, he added, was “a little upset with the change” in tone, but added that his was “still relatively normal” at that point.

Haydock added that he thought what the nurse was doing was “Orwellian” and was unnecessary control over the behavior of the father with his son.

Haydock also vouched for Kennedy's defensive counsel's argument that he was calm after the initial confrontation, when he headed to an elevator and when he headed to a stairwell after he was stopped from leaving by a nurse, referencing Lane's attempt. The doctor also testified that Kennedy identified him as a physician.

He also did not corroborate testimony from Lane about Kennedy twisting left her arm to get her hand off of the stairwell door so he could use it, describing only how Kennedy pushed his way backwards through the door, and that he did not see a struggle between them. Haydock at the time was approaching the doorway from the nearby hall.

After that point, when the door opened, Haydock testified that Luciano “lunged” for the baby, an action that he described as sudden and one that he did not expect. Next, Haydock testified that Kennedy raised one of his legs, had a bent knee, placed his foot on her lower abdomen and then pushed her through the doorway, an act that he described as quickly. The description comes in contrast to Luciano's testimony, who described Kennedy as kicking her with his foot, causing her to fly across the doorway.

Haydock also contradicted Luciano's past account of the baby's head “violently shaking” around the time Kennedy opened the doo, which she testified was her reason for trying to get the baby. He also did not hear Luciano cry out from the fall.

“I heard nothing,” he said. Haydock added that he looked at her than headed for the stairwell, where he checked on Kennedy and his baby. He described Bo as being okay when he checked on him.

“The baby seemed absolutely fine,” he said, adding that he saw no trauma evidence.

The prosecution, by contrast, portrayed Haydock as someone who lacks the professional experience to make proper judgment of what Kennedy should have done with the baby.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Borrelli repeatedly raised the difference in medical expertise between Haydock, an ER doctor, and the nurses who specialize in maternity care. He noted that Haydock was not Bo's physician and that he did not see his patient chart for that night. Additionally, Borrelli argued that a request for Haydock to see a supervising nurse to get her opinion on the fresh air request when he and Kennedy were still at the station, contradicted his belief that it seemed okay to move the baby after being told to have a bassinet.

At one point, Borrelli asked questions that appeared to have an implicit goal of looking at whether Haydock received any corrective response from NWH for his conduct. These included he discussion he had about infant policy and raising the point that Haydock did not work at NWH again between January and May. Haydock did not admit to any sort of disciplinary action being brought, however.

Meanwhile, earlier in the trial date, Kennedy's defense counsel made a motion to dismiss the charges, arguing that the prosecution's witness testimonies do not prove that Kennedy knowing put his son in a situation where he would likely be injured, which was described as the burden of proof for child endangerment. On the harassment charge, counsel argued that Kennedy's physical contact with Luciano was done on instinct and happened quickly, rather than being intentional as the burden of proof requires.

The prosecution countered that Kennedy's action with the baby, such as where he landed near the stairs, constituted action likely to harm the baby, and that Kennedy kicking Luciano was a deliberate method of stopping her. Mount Kisco Village Justice John Donohue decided to reserve on the motion.

The trial date concluded around 5 p.m., and Haydock is expected to continue his testimony on Friday at 9:30 a.m. It appears, based on talk between both sides' counsel and the judge, that the defense could rest its case on the same day.

ML October 27, 2012 at 02:16 AM
In the middle of winter, even on an unseasonably warm night, they wrap the baby in something more than a receiving blanket and take them from the hospital into a car. His actions were irrational.
ML October 27, 2012 at 02:20 AM
It's absolutely a Kennedy thing. That's why the ER doctor is rolling over. And cooped up for 3 days? Big deal...great reason for assaulting nurses.
Dan Seidel October 27, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Hate is a very powerful emotion. Hate in this instance is good - MObama SHOULD be the object of extreme and unabated hate. He is a murderer and murderers should be hated, shunned and jailed - not pitied, not excused. He watched in real time 4 Americans die, he choked, did not defend the Country, the Constuitution or it's citizens, went to bed, then went and partied in Vegas with Beyonce. Now he lies like a smooth rug. Eccelesiates - there is a time for everything. Without hate, how would you know the extent of love? Yin Yang, Issy. But you are free to vote for the murderer, as are any. History shows many side with murderers, until it's their turn to be murdered. Just remember pre war Germany - you can be a "good German" too.
Storm October 28, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Well said Nyack Resident
Carol October 28, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Those nurses were doing their job, so if that's considered over zealous these days, that is sad. I, too agree with Nyack. Over zealous is not illegal. Assault is. The last thing on this man's radar was his infant. That is also sad.
PC Lover October 28, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Over zealous behavior and GI Joe tactics crossed the line of common decency into threatening behavior and possibly assault which precipitated the retaliation. Simple as that.
Carol October 28, 2012 at 02:09 AM
No offense PC but that's a real crock. Two nurses trying to attack a Dr. That works for the hospital and a Kennedy? That doesn't pass the giggle test, but nice try!
aph47 October 28, 2012 at 06:50 PM
When the nurse reached for Kennedy's baby to "stabilize his head," that could have been interpreted by Kennedy as an assault. Especially given how aggressive the pair of nurses were being in blocking his exit from the building. When people get cornered the reaction is either fight or flight. It seems you don't like that his instinctive response was fight, but I don't think it was unreasonable.
PC Lover October 28, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Carol, "attack" may be a strong term but clearly she aggressively reached for the baby and that's when Kennedy reactively kicked her. Had she not been over zealous and aggressive it would not have happened. She could not stand that he was not obeying her orders and so she went over the line. Why can't you get that? You must be a nurse....true or not? BTW if the judge finds for Kennedy will you eat your hat?
PC Lover October 28, 2012 at 09:54 PM
aph47...reaching to stabilize the baby's head is what her lawyer told her to say to explain away her lunging grab for the baby. Bottom line is she was pissed that they were taking the baby outside after she told them no..and she would have no part of it. Nurses are awesome and they take no s*it and save lives...but this time she crossed the line.
Blaue Vogel October 28, 2012 at 10:25 PM
The entire incident should never have happened. Adults behaving badly. Kennedy and the ER doc making a ridiculous request. Some other staff taking the bracelet off the newborn, and then nurses going above and beyond the call of duty by trying to grab the child. I've been a nurse for over two decades and I can't believe this ended the way it did. Who was the charge nurse on duty? Anyone call the nursing supervisor? Seems like the entire staff needs retraining.
Carol October 28, 2012 at 10:26 PM
All I can say is that every nurse better think twice before she touches any of her patients while trying to do things like changing a diaper, a dressing, or any other numerous treatments they perform, lest it be construed as agressive, which warrants an assault. A person must use no more force than appears resonably necessary in the circumstance. It's a darn good thing that the nurse didn't hit her head on the way down and die as a result or Mr. Kennedy would find himself with a homicide. You believe what you want. The scenario you present doesn't make sense. The infant was her patient . If I thought that any nurse was there to hurt my baby or wife, I'd be out of there pronto! If you think a visit outside warrants that response , what can I say? I obviously think that is wrong.
aph47 October 28, 2012 at 10:52 PM
I think that's probably what happened. I'm just saying it doesn't matter what the nurse thought she was doing, what matters is what Kennedy perceived. I think it was reasonable for him to think she was attacking him or trying to take the baby regardless of what was inside the nurse's head.
Blaue Vogel October 28, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Carol: c'mon now. Number one: good judgment. I'm not so sure good judgment includes trying to grab a newborn from a parent. We try to avoid altercations, especially physical ones, and in this case there's a fragile newborn in the mix. The parent was acting inappropriately trying to remove the newborn, but someone on the unit removed the bracelet and gave him permission. It should have been handled much differently right from the start. Getting in a brawl? No.
Carol October 28, 2012 at 10:57 PM
PS. Obviously the nurse wasn't too close to Mr. Kennedy, or he would not have been able to get a foot on her and send her flying as far as he did.
Blaue Vogel October 28, 2012 at 11:10 PM
I'm not condoning Mr. Kennedy's reaction, but nurses are supposed to behave professionally with cool heads prevailing. She ended up putting the newborn in jeopardy. We can't expect patients and/or family to behave reasonably at all times, so proper judgment and closely following policy and procedure is very important. It also helps if we ever need to plead our case. Ought to be interesting to see what the judge thinks.
Carol October 28, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Blaue, who says she tried to grab the infant? Kennedy & Dr. Charm? See, I don't believe that. Do you think either nurse saw this reaction as a possibility? I wouldn't considering the ER doc was there and a Kennedy. Who would see this coming? Actually I would expect better from an ER doc, maybe not from a Kennedy. Who would think it necessary to call in the militia? I think it very likely that the baby's head was all over, and she wanted to stop that.
Blaue Vogel October 28, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Carol, the newborn was in the arms of his dad with the blessing of some other staff member(s) by the time these two nurses got involved. Not a good scenario right from the beginning. First they tell him yes, then no. No one calls the nursing super. Whoever took off the bracelet was star struck, plus they're listening to the advice of some part time ER doc who should be minding his own business in the ER. Mr. Kennedy should have obeyed the nurses involved in this court case, but he didn't. Then something escalated the situation to make it physical. It should be embarrassing for ALL involved.
Carol October 29, 2012 at 12:10 AM
I agree with you on all counts. The thing I don 't agree with is that the nurse tried to pull that baby out if his arms, warranting a kick. Taking that bracelet off started the ball rolling. You would think an ER doc would have The smarts to get why you don't take an infant out of the nursery. Had he not been there to put his stamp of approval on this, I doubt this would have happened. I still don't believe hurting two nurses was the answer. It still doesn't excuse Mr. Kennedy's actions. There was enough wrong to go around. The minute it got physical was the minute it became criminal.
PC Lover October 29, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Thank you Blaue Vogel...finally a nurse who takes the common sense position. It's as simple as that. The whole thing would have been avoided had the nurses kept their cool.
PC Lover October 29, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Carol, still waiting for answer: 1) Are you a nurse? 2) If the judge finds for Kennedy will you eat your hat?
Carol October 29, 2012 at 12:44 AM
PC... Are you a criminal defense lawyer? After OJ and Casey Anthony, anything is possible, so I wouldn't bet the farm on anything. We all know that money, and lots of it, DOES buy justice, now don't we?
PC Lover October 29, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Carol I am not a lawyer. If I was a criminal defense lawyer I'd hope I'd have better things to do than try to convince you of the facts. So if the judge finds in favor of Kennedy it couldn't be that he was innocent?
Carol October 29, 2012 at 01:46 AM
So why are you SO sure the nurse tried to grab the baby? That's what it comes down to. I don't think she got close enough to grab anything, judging by how far she was thrown buy that kick. I also believe that a trained medical professional would not try to do this because it would be extremely risky for the infant. I think Mr. Kennedy did not like being told not to take the infant outside and didn't like it. Since he was accompanied by Dr. Charm, he had a surge of testosterone and indignation. Tell me how I'm wrong. I would not be surprised that HIS attorney may have made a few suggestions. That's why he gets the big bucks. JMHO. I don't ascribe the motivation of the nurse showing her "Power" over a Dr. And a Kennedy. David VS Goliath. I wouldn't want to go up against either one of them. I don't see it the same way you do. Both nurses would have to be total nut jobs. I'm just not buying it.
PC Lover October 31, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Carol hope you fared well in the storm. The nurse HAD to reach for the baby or there would be no valid reason to kick her. She even testified that she reached for the baby. If Kennedy is such a freak of nature that he goes around hitting and kicking people for no apparent reason I am sure there would be many others coming forth to say they were on the receiving end of his bad behaviour and pile on to his downfall. The nurses over stepped...and they created, (not necessarily intentionally but perhaps foolishly), a bad situation. To me that is obvious.
Carol November 03, 2012 at 06:21 PM
PC... Hope you got through the storm intact. Why did she reach for the baby? Reaching doesn't mean she wanted to pull the baby out if his arms. If that was the case, then I agree with your assessment. The reason for kicking could be to get her out of his face. I think he could have returned with the baby back to the floor to get everything straightened out. He wasn't interested in doing that. He wanted what he wanted. A Kennedy trait. All of this to go outside with the baby? Really ridiculous if you ask me! I'm thinking that those who cut the bracelet off were not the attending nurse or the charge nurse and they saw this quite differently. I am on the side of the baby, as I think they were. I think HIS reaction was a gross over-reaction. Totally uncalled for.
aph47 November 04, 2012 at 01:33 AM
I'm glad both of you made it through the storm alright. I'm in DC and we were luck. Let me but in to this conversation for a moment. Carol, look at the PDF here - http://chappaqua.patch.com/articles/nurses-claim-kennedy-injured-them-in-alleged-scuffle#pdf-9203499 - on page 5 Nurse Luciano admits to police that she tried to grab at the baby. This deposition was taken on the day of the incident. That fact is not up for dispute.
aph47 November 04, 2012 at 01:36 AM
I've noted this here before, but I'll say it again. What the nurse thought she was doing simply does not matter legally. Kennedy reacted based on what he perceived -- a stranger reaching for his baby. It wouldn't matter if that nurse was Mother Teresa and Kennedy just didn't recognize her. Objectively, when someone tries to touch your child without permission, it's legitimate to put off that attempt by force. It may not be the way you would handle it, but its a reasonable reaction.
aph47 November 04, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Since many more facts have come out now, I want to pose a question. Kennedy's baby was not wearing a bracelet when he was stopped by the nurses. Let's do a hypothetical - if Kennedy were John Doe and he had brought his 10 day old into the hospital to visit a friend in the maternity ward, would it have been okay for a nurse to try to stop him from leaving with his very young baby? How did the nurses know this baby was a patient if they didn't recognize Kennedy, since the baby was not wearing a bracelet? The answer is they knew exactly who he was and objected to him breaking hospital policy. Because he wasn't following their "authority" they tried to physically stop him (blocked the elevator, then the door, then tried to grab baby). Pleas tell me how this would be acceptable anywhere other than a hospital, then tell me why a hospital is legally different? Bottom line - the nurses were mad someone questioned their power and they reacted with physical force by blocking his exit and trying to grab his baby. Kennedy reacted and kicked one of them. Try to take a baby from it's dad and you should expect to get hit.
Carol November 04, 2012 at 02:27 AM
The baby in question was a patient of theirs, on a maternity unit. They are legally responsible for THAT baby, not a visitor to the unit. Speaking of power, ask yourself who had the power? A Kennedy and an ER doctor... Both with egos the size of Texas! So I think that argument is nonsense. Had something happened to that baby, they would be looking to sue the hospital, the nurses, and yes....Kennedy's good buddy, The ER doc. He'd find out just how good his Kennedy friend is, real fast!

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »