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Man Arrested Who Slapped Reporter's Backside On Live TV

Thomas Callaway was charged with a misdemeanor charge of sexual battery against WSAV's Alex Bozarjian.

An amazing amount of coverage for his story, one that probably would have gone unnoticed a few decades ago, this week unleashed a torrent of backlash on social media. The perpetrator was identified almost immediately after the incident, through Twitter and other avenues.

Alex Bozarjian appeared on CBS This Morning earlier this week to give her reaction.

Source: Associated Press

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia man who was videotaped slapping a female reporter’s rear on live TV was arrested Friday on a misdemeanor charge of sexual battery.

Savannah police spokeswoman Bianca Johnson in Savannah confirmed that Thomas Callaway, 43, of Statesboro was charged in connection with the incident that occurred while WSAV-TV reporter Alex Bozarjian was broadcasting live as runners streamed past her on a prominent bridge in the coastal city.

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

Jail records showed Callaway was booked Friday afternoon. His attorney, Joseph Turner, declined to comment in an email late Friday to The Associated Press.

Video from Bozarjian’s live broadcast Saturday posted online showed one of the passing runners appearing to swat her from behind. The video shows the stunned woman stop talking for a moment and stare as if shocked. The video clip had been viewed more than 11 million times on Twitter as of Friday.

According to Inside Edition, who interviewed Callaway a few days ago with an attempted apology (no doubt trying to stave off his eventual arrest), is a happily married father of two, as well as a youth minister and boy scout leader. Callaway said he had attempted to pat her on the back. Uh-huh.

Callaway, 43, a married father of two as well as a youth minister and boy scout leader, was read the reporter's outraged post about 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 with his at work or anywhere. Do better,” Bozarjian wrote on social media.

“I totally agree 100 % with her statement and the two most important words were her last two words, ‘do better.’ And that’s my intention,” he said. "I did not see her facial reaction as I just kept on running. If I did see her facial reaction, I would have felt embarrassed and ashamed and stopped and turned around to apologize to her."

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