A firefighter will be charged with child battery and making a criminal threat after he allegedly used a racial slur and spit on a little boy, 3, at a Hooters restaurant earlier this week, KCTV reports.
The little boy’s family was at a birthday celebration at the Overland Park, Kan., restaurant with 20 to 30 guests. The child was playing and went over to the area where the suspect was seated — and that’s when the man attacked the boy, according to police.
“He basically said get that little ‘blank’ up off the floor. The N word started to get thrown around,” a witness who asked to remain anonymous told KCTV.
Witnesses also said that when confronted by police, the suspect said he was a firefighter.
“His immediate response was, ‘It’s OK, I’m a fireman,’ like that was supposed to blanket cover everything for him,” the witness said.
The 3-year-old’s grandfather said he was shocked to discover that the man has actually been identified as a Kansas City firefighter.
“My whole body just went numb,” he said. “How could someone do that to a child? He’s a baby. He’s helpless. He didn’t deserve that.”
“Sick to my stomach,” the grandfather added. Despite what the man allegedly did to his grandchild, the grandfather says he will “pray for people like that.”
In a statement released on Saturday, Hooters said that it does not tolerate harassment at its restaurants.
“Hooters does not tolerate any harassment or discriminatory language, the safety and well-being of our guests and employees are our utmost priorities,” the statement said. “Of course it goes without saying that our policy is to fully cooperate with any law enforcement investigation.”
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