Robert D. Gordon. “Foul? I’ll show you a foul.” (Alexandria City police)

Police said Robert D. Gordon, 55, the director of the Barrett Center, was playing basketball Wednesday night with some kids. Around 7 p.m., according to police spokesman Jody Donaldson, Gordon and an 11-year-old boy got into a “verbal altercation, which got heated.” Then, “Gordon physically grabbed the boy,” on the court in front of plenty of witnesses, Donaldson said.

The kid called his family, who came down and then called police. Police didn’t witness the episode, but they accompanied the boy and the family to the Alexandria magistrate, Donaldson said, where Gordon was charged with one misdemeanor count of assault and battery. Alexandria police then took Gordon into custody and booked him.

Gordon did not return a call for comment.

William Chesley, the deputy director of the Alexandria parks department, said Gordon was on leave with pay pending an internal investigation. If Gordon assaulted an 11-year-old, Chesley said, that’s ”totally inappropriate. Our staff are trained not to manhandle kids in any form or fashion.”