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Long Island nurse arrested and accused of slamming newborn facedown into bassinet

Amanda Burke, 29, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child in connection with the Feb. 6 incident. She was fired "hours after" the baby's parents reported her conduct.

A Long Island, New York, nurse has been charged after she was alleged to have been caught on video picking up a 2-day-old baby and slamming him facedown into his bassinet. 

Amanda Burke, 29, was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor, in connection with the Feb. 6 incident, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office announced. 

Burke was a registered nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip on Long Island, and at the time of the incident she was in charge of the newborn's care.

“Burke approached the newborn while he was lying in a bassinet, lifted him up, quickly flipped him over, and violently slammed him face down in the bassinet,” prosecutors said in a news release. 

The infant’s father recorded the incident on his cellphone through the nursery window, the baby’s mother confronted Burke, and the parents notified hospital nursing staff members, prosecutors said.

As a result, Burke was terminated “within hours of the incident,” the release said.

“The allegations against this defendant, who is someone entrusted with the care of our most vulnerable citizens, are truly disturbing," District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney said.

Robert C. Gottlieb, an attorney for Burke, said in a statement: "This case should have never resulted in criminal charges.”

“Amanda is an outstanding, exemplary, compassionate nurse who did not and would never do anything to endanger any infant or patient under her care,” he said. “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.”

The infant’s father, Fidel Sinclair, told NBC New York in February it was divine intervention that he was able to witness what happened to his son, Nikko.

“I’m happy I was there. God sent me,” Sinclair said. “If it wasn’t for God, who sent me to go over there and check on him, we would have never seen none of that happen. And that would have kept happening through the night, not only to him, but to the other babies, too.”

Nikko’s mother, Consuelo Saravia, told the station the video of how her baby was handled left her shaken.

“It was heartbreaking,” she said. “I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t even sleep.”

Saravia said she confronted the nurse: “I told her: ‘I don’t want you to touch my child! You just slammed him,’” she told the station. “She said, ‘Oh no, if you think I mishandled him or anything, I’m sorry.’”

Burke is to be arraigned on May 2. 

The district attorney’s office said it notified the New York State Education Department’s Office of Professional Discipline about the investigation findings; to date Burke’s registered nurse license has not been suspended.