KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City firefighter has been charged after witnesses allege he called a child a racial slur and then spat on him inside a restaurant.

Terrence J. Skeen, 42, was charged in Overland Park Municipal Court with battery, assault and disorderly conduct in connection to the Feb. 26 incident at a Hooters restaurant, the Kansas City Star reported . Witnesses told police that a customer used a racial slur and spit on a child.

The boy had wandered away from his family who were at the restaurant celebrating a birthday when the incident happened.

"He basically said get that little 'blank' up off the floor," one witness told KCTV-TV. "The N-word started to get thrown around."

Overland Park police said the case also has been referred to the FBI for further investigation.

A Kansas City spokesman said Skeen has worked for the fire department for more than 15 years.

City officials declined to comment on individual personnel or discipline issues, but stated that the city "values diversity and expects all employees to treat others with respect."

Hooters of America, the restaurant's corporate office, released a statement saying they don't "tolerate any harassment or discriminatory language" and that "the safety and well-being of our guests and employees are our utmost priorities."


Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com