A distraught maternity ward nurse has told a court that a son of the late Senator Robert Kennedy twisted her arm and kicked another nurse to the ground as he tried to leave a hospital with his newborn son.
The nurses tried to stop Douglas Kennedy because there had been no order for the two-day-old baby's release "and I felt there was a security risk", said a tearful Anna Lane.
She said Kennedy told her he did not need permission.
Kennedy, who went on trial in Mount Kisco Town Court, New York, for harassment and child endangerment, says the charges are absurd and he had been taking his son, Anthony Boru Kennedy, for some fresh air outside Northern Westchester Hospital.
But nurses told the court that would have been very irregular. Angela Adamo said that when Kennedy approached the nurses' station with his request, she tried to dissuade him because it "didn't seem to make much sense to me".
She also said the baby, in a hat and blanket, was not appropriately dressed for a January evening.
Kennedy, the baby cradled in his right arm, was not persuaded and moved to the lift and stairwell, where Ms Lane and another nurse, Carrie Luciano, tried to block the way, Ms Lane said. "He grabbed my left hand ... and twisted my arm," she said. "He kicked Carrie and she went flying in one direction and he went in the other direction."
Kennedy's wife, Molly, came to court with him yesterday. 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."
Kennedy is the 10th of 11 children of Robert and Ethel Kennedy. His father was assassinated in 1968. President John F Kennedy, his uncle, was assassinated in 1963.
Kennedy's arrest was the beginning of a difficult year for the Kennedys in New York. His sister-in-law, Mary Kennedy, hanged herself in May in Bedford. His sister, Kerry Kennedy, has pleaded not guilty to drug-impaired driving after an accident.