Georgia runner arrested for slapping female TV reporter's backside

A 43-year-old man named Thomas Callaway, from Georgia, was arrested on the charge of sexual battery after he was caught on live TV slapping WSAV-TV's female reporter Alex Bozarjian's buttocks during the Savannah Bridge Run organised in the state's coastal city of Savanna. Callaway apologized for his action on camera, that was aired by the news organisation.

Incident caught on camera

Alex Bozarjian
Alex Bozarjian, reporter at WSAV-TV Twitter/Alex Bozarjian

Bozarjian, who was startled by the incident, wrote on social media, "You violated, objectified and embarrassed me. No woman should EVER have to put up with this at work or anywhere!! Do better."

WSAV-TV said in a statement, "The conduct displayed toward Alex Bozarjian during her live coverage of Saturday's Savannah Bridge Run was reprehensible and completely unacceptable. No one should ever be disrespected in this manner. The safety and protection of our employees is WSAV-TV's highest priority."

Callaway went to the TV station to tender the apology. "It was an awful act and an awful mistake," he said. He mentioned that he was trying to pat Bozarjian on the back or shoulder and didn't realize that he had touched her buttocks until he saw the video.

Callaway got arrested

Alex Bozarjian's tweet

Callaway was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of sexual battery, reported the Associated Press. Savannah police spokeswoman Bianca Johnson in Savannah confirmed the arrest.

Bozarjian told the police that the man had slapped and then grabbed her buttocks. Sexual battery is a crime, defined as unwanted sexual touching of intimate body parts without consent or through fraud.