A 29-year-old nurse in New York has been arrested two months after she was allegedly filmed “violently slamming” a newborn baby “face-down into his bassinet” in the neonatal intensive care unit. Former Good Samaritan Hospital nurse Amanda Burke was taken into custody on Wednesday and charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a child, authorities announced.
“The allegations against this defendant, who is someone entrusted with the care of our most vulnerable citizens, are truly disturbing,” Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney said in a statement.
According to a press release from the district attorney’s office, Burke on Feb. 6, 2023, was working in the neonatal ICU when she was assigned to care for the then-2-day-old baby named Nikko. While the windows in the neonatal ICU are typically covered for privacy reasons, the covering on the bottom corner of one of the windows had come off, allowing someone outside of the unit to look in and see baby Nikko.
“Burke approached the newborn while he was lying in a bassinet, lifted him up, quickly flipped him over, and violently slammed him face down on the bassinet,” the release states. “The infant’s father recorded a video of the incident on his cellular telephone through the nursery window. After viewing the recording, the infant’s mother confronted Burke.”
The mother, Consuelo Saravia, told News12 that she was furious because little Nikko “literally just came into the world.”
“That’s so messed up to just handle a baby like that. A newborn. It’s crazy,” she told the station.
The child’s parents then showed the video of Burke slamming their child into the bassinet to other nurses and staff members at Good Samaritan Hospital. Authorities say that the establishment took swift action, directing Burke to leave the hospital and terminating her employment within two hours of the alleged incident taking place.
In a statement emailed to CBS News, Burke’s defense attorney, Robert C. Gottlieb, reportedly said the case should “never have resulted in criminal charges” against his client.
“Amanda is an outstanding, exemplary, compassionate nurse who did not and would never do anything to endanger any infant or patient under her care,” Gottlieb wrote. “The baby involved was not injured or ever placed in any danger of injury. The District Attorney’s statements are off base and not justified by all the facts that will come out in court.”
Gottlieb did not immediately respond to a message from Law&Crime asking about the fact that the incident as depicted on film seems to contradict his statement.
Burke surrendered to authorities on Wednesday and is scheduled to appear in court on May 2.
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