A 42-year-old Kansas City firefighter has been charged in an incident where he allegedly used a racial slur and spat on a child.
Terrence J. Skeen is charged in Overland Park Municipal Court with battery, assault and disorderly conduct.
The case also has been referred to the FBI for additional investigation, according to Overland Park police.
A spokesman for the city of Kansas City said that Skeen, who goes by Jeremy, has worked for the fire department since 2002, except for a year he took off for personal reasons in 2010.
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The incident occurred on Feb. 26 at a Hooters in the 10600 block of Metcalf.
Witnesses told police that the suspect called the child a racial slur and then spit on him.
The boy and his family had already left, but police interviewed them later.
A witness told KCTV5 he heard a customer using the N-word.
"He basically said get that little 'blank' up off the floor," the witness said.
The boy's family was at the restaurant celebrating a birthday and said the boy had wandered away from the group when the incident happened.
In a written statement, the city of Kansas City said Wednesday that officials could not comment on individual personnel or discipline issues.
But the statement added that the city "values diversity and expects all employees to treat others with respect."
Hooters of America, the restaurant's corporate office, also released a statement:
“Hooters does not tolerate any harassment or discriminatory language, the safety and well-being of our guests and employees are our utmost priorities. Of course it goes without saying that our policy is to fully cooperate with any law enforcement investigation.”