Assaulting a nurse on the job is a felony!
On August 14, 2010, Penal Law Article 120.5 was amended to include nurses. It is now a Class D felony to assault a nurse while on duty. On November 1, 2010 the law became effective.
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On January 7, 2012, it is alleged that Douglas Kennedy kicked one nurse and twisted another nurse's arm while they tried to stop him from leaving the maternity unit at Northern Westchester Hospital with his baby. Mr. Kennedy was attempting to take the two-day old infant outside "to get fresh air" - the nurses were protecting the infant, were following hospital protocol and were upholding their professional standards.
Janet DeFiore, the Westchester County District Attorney, has only charged Mr. Kennedy with endangering the welfare of a child - a misdemeanor, and two counts of harassment - violations.
The New York State Nurses Association is calling upon D.A. DeFiore to give this incident a full review in light of the possible felony charge.
Nurses deserve to know that those who assault a nurse while she or he is performing their job, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!