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Kennedys ‘incited this crowd into an angry mob,’ police say

Barnstable Police

Matthew Maxwell Kennedy, a 52-year-old scion of the Kennedy family, was arrested early Sunday after he argued with police officers who had responded to a loud party on Cape Cod. He threw himself into a wall, smashed a shelf full of glass objects, and refused to cooperate when officers tried to place him in handcuffs, police said.

Kennedy’s 22-year-old daughter, Caroline, was arrested when she opened the door of the police cruiser her father had been placed in, according to a Barnstable police report filed in court. Both face charges of disturbing the peace and violating a town noise ordinance.

According to the report, by Officer Armando Feliciano, the situation became so tense between officers and partygoers at a rented home on Irving Avenue in Barnstable’s Hyannis Port section that he called for backup, out of concern for his safety.


“The small crowd was closing in on us and was out of control,’’ Feliciano wrote. “The actions of both Matthew Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy had incited this crowd into an angry mob.”

Matthew Kennedy was arraigned Monday in Barnstable District Court, where he pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance. His next court date is Nov. 22, the same date that Caroline Kennedy is scheduled to be arraigned, according to court records.

Matthew Kennedy is the son of the late Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Kennedy. His legal name is Matthew, but he identifies himself as Maxwell Taylor Kennedy. He is an author, a retired lawyer, and currently a member of the board of directors of the federal Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a post he was named to by former president Barack Obama.

The Globe called Matthew Kennedy’s Cape Cod home twice on Tuesday and asked to speak wth him each time. A woman who answered the second call said, “There’s no one available to speak with you. I am sorry. Have a good day.”


In his report, Feliciano wrote that neighbors called police to complain about loud noise around 12:55 a.m., but no officer was available to respond until 1:17 a.m. When he arrived at 172 Irving Ave., across the street from the Kennedys’ famed compound, loud music was playing and someone was singing, using a microphone and a sound system.

The officer said he asked a woman to direct him to the homeowner because of the noise complaint, which led someone to turn down the music. He said Matthew Kennedy, whom he did not know or recognize, came to the door “and immediately became angry with me.”

A second man, who said he was the person renting the home, refused to identify himself and was pulled back into the house by Matthew Kennedy, leading the officer to ask for Kennedy to provide identification.

“He became even more irate with me,’’ wrote Feliciano, who added that Kennedy’s eyes were bloodshot and glassy and that he was sweating profusely. “He told me to leave . . . pointed his finger at my chest and refused any sort of civil communications.’’

While he was being confronted by Matthew Kennedy, Feliciano wrote, someone turned the music back to its original loud volume. “The disturbance only grew worse,’’ he wrote, adding that he tried to get other people to lower the music, without success, and then tried to enter the front door.


“Kennedy responded by now screaming incoherently and throwing himself into the wall,’’ Feliciano wrote. “When he hit the wall, he grabbed a wall cabinet (filled with glass valuables) and threw it, smashing the contents.”

Feliciano wrote that he and the other officer then at the scene did not have any physical contact with Kennedy before he threw himself into the wall, but after his actions, Feliciano moved to arrest him for disturbing the peace.

About 10 people were watching as he tried to put handcuffs on Kennedy, who resisted by stiffening both of his arms and by pulling them away from the officer. “We were surrounded by everyone in the room,’’ the officer wrote. “They were yelling, ‘You don’t know who you are messing with!’ and ‘he was a district attorney.’ ”

As he moved Kennedy toward his cruiser, “we were surrounded again by a group of persons. I radioed dispatch to send more cruisers to our location.” He put Kennedy in his cruiser and turned toward the “large number of party guests” who came out of the house and were in the middle of the road.

At that point, he said, he saw Caroline Kennedy “grab hold of my cruiser door and open it. . . . As she opened the door to the cruiser, the crowd closed in. I was able to get the door closed but this had now flared up the crowd even more,’’ he wrote.

He said that those in the crowd started waving cellphones in his face, taking photographs, using the flashlight function and pointing it into his eyes. “People were yelling and flailing their arms,’’ Feliciano wrote.


Caroline Kennedy was then arrested.

Both Kennedys were taken to the police station, he wrote.

During booking, Caroline Kennedy allegedly refused to provide biographical information, repeatedly swore at police, and admitted she was drunk. Told she would be placed in a cell if she did not identify herself, she gave her name and said, “I went to Brown and I’m a teacher, sweetheart!” the police report said.

Police considered taking Matthew Kennedy into protective custody, a practice undertaken when somebody is excessively drunk. But, according to the report, he completed a chemical breath test that showed he had zero blood-alcohol content.

Both Kennedys were released on bail.

John R. Ellement can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.