A man who was caught on camera slapping the behind of a female TV reporter has been arrested. Thomas Callaway, a youth minister from Statesboro, Georgia was caught on camera assaulting news reporter Alex Bozarjian as he ran past her during the Dec. 7 Savannah Bridge Run 10K.
Commenting on the widely-shared footage, Bozarjian tweeted: “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.” The video has since been viewed over 12 million times.
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. https://t.co/PRLXkBY5hn— Alex Bozarjian (@wsavalexb) December 7, 2019
Callaway, who can be seen veering off course in order to reach the journalist, reportedly slapped and grabbed the reporter’s buttocks. He has since been arrested and charged with sexual battery after Bozarjian filed a police report against him last week.
“The conduct displayed toward Alex Bozarjian during her live coverage of Saturday’s Savannah Bridge Run was reprehensible and completely unacceptable,” Bozarjian’s employer WSAV-TV said after the arrest, according to Fox News. “No one should ever be disrespected in this manner. The safety and protection of our employees is WSAV-TV’s highest priority.”
Speaking on Inside Edition, Callway said he got “caught up in the moment.”
“I was getting ready to bring my hands up to wave to the camera and the audience, and there was a misjudgment of character and decision-making,” he admitted. “I touched her back. I did not know exactly where I touched her.”
Bozarjian said Callaway “helped himself to a part of my body,” and insisted that he “took my power.”
“I’m trying to take that back,” she added.
On December 14, Bozarjian posted a statement from her lawyer, Gloria Allred, in response to the arrest. “Alex Bozarjian is glad that law enforcement is taking this matter seriously. She feels that a reporter should be able to do her job without being assaulted,” it reads. “Alex wants to thank the members of the public who have reached out to her to offer support.”
The statement noted that, should the case go to trial, Bozarjian will be a witness and thus “will have no further comment until the case concludes.”
The misdemeanor charge Callaway now faces is punishable by up to a year in prison.
Photo courtesy: Pixabay/Max Mann
Will Maule is a British journalist who has spent the past several years working as a digital news editor. Since earning a degree in international relations and politics, Will has developed a particular interest in covering ethical issues, human rights and global religious persecution. Will's work has been featured in various outlets including The Spectator, Faithwire, CBN News, Spiked, The Federalist and Christian Headlines. Follow him on Twitter at @WillAMaule.