Runner Who Slapped Reporter's Rear On Live TV Banned From Future Races

Alex Bozarjian was covering a race in Savannah, Georgia, on Saturday when the assault happened.

A runner who slapped the backside of a reporter during a live TV segment has been banned from future races after a video of the incident went viral.

WSAV-TV reporter Alex Bozarjian was covering the Savannah Bridge Run in Savannah, Georgia, when a man wearing a hat and sunglasses smacked her backside as he ran past.

The 23-year-old reporter kept her composure during the segment, but let her mystery assaulter have it on Twitter a short time later:

“To the man who smacked my butt on live TV this morning: You violated, objectified, and embarrassed me. No woman should EVER have to put up with this at work or anywhere!! Do better.”

“He took my power, and I’m trying to take that back,” Bozarjian told CBS News. “I think what it really comes down to is that he helped himself to a part of my body.”

A lot of internet sleuths felt for Bozarjian and went looking at thousands of photos from the run to identify the culprit, according to Inside Edition.

The man, 43-year-old Tommy Callaway of Statesboro, Georgia, was eventually identified by the number on his race bib. Callaway did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

But his attorney, Joseph Turner, issued a statement on Monday night saying his client “did not act with any criminal intentions.”

“Tommy is a loving husband and father who is very active in the community. We have been in touch with WSAV and representatives of Ms. Alex Bozarjian, as well as members of Savannah law enforcement. We do not expect any criminal charges to arise from this incident, and we are working with those involved to correct the situation.”

Although numerous media reports claim Callaway is a youth minister at Pittman Park United Methodist Church in Statesboro, Georgia, an employee there told HuffPost Callaway isn’t employed by the church and works strictly as a parent volunteer.

The day after the race, the Savannah Sports Council banned Callaway from future races.

A Savannah Police spokesperson told CBS News the department is ready to work with Bozarjian depending on what she’d “like to next.”

The incident comes a few months after Sara Rivest, a TV reporter in Louisville, Kentucky, received an unwanted kiss on her cheek during a live TV segment.

A suspect was later arrested and charged with harassment with physical contact, a misdemeanor.



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