A runner in United States, accused of slapping a reporter on her bum during a live TV show, has been identified as Tommy Callaway, a youth minister from of Statesboro, Georgia.
Callaway had slapped the backside of WSAV-TV anchor Alex Bozarjian, who was covering a run in Savannah, Georgia.
She was on air when the runners dashed past her. Callaway, sporting a hat and sunglasses, appeared to smack her back as he ran past her.
Callaway was identified by social media users. The New York Post reported that Callaway was a youth group leader at his church and a Boy Scout leader.
The man accused of slapping @wsavalexb's backside while she was on the air is telling his side of the story.December 11, 2019
“While we regret the situation, Mr. Callaway did not act with any criminal intentions,” Joseph Turner, Callaway’s lawyer, said in a statement.
Turner described Callaway as a “loving husband and father” and added that he was working with those involved to correct the situation
Bozarjian had taken to social media to express her outrage over the incident.
“To the man who smacked my butt on live TV, you violated, objectified and embarrassed me. No woman should ever have to put up with his at work or anywhere. Do better,” she wrote as the video of the incident went viral with millions of views.
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
In an interview, Callaway claimed that he was “caught up in the moment”. He said he was trying to lift his hands up to wave to the audience on camera.
“There was a misjudge in character and decision-making. I touched her back; I did not know exactly where I touched her,” Callaway was quoted as saying by Inside Edition.
Bozarjian said he hasn't decided yet if she can accept the apology.
She told CBS that she wants to take her time and added that it finally comes down to if Callaway “helped himself to a part” of her body.