SAVANNAH, Georgia (AP) – A Georgia man has apologized on-camera for slapping a female reporter’s rear on live TV after the video clip garnered outrage among millions who viewed it online and prompted police to investigate the case as a possible sexual battery.
WSAV-TV reporter Alex Bozarjian was doing a live broadcast from a road race Saturday in Savannah when one of the passing runners swatted her from behind. The video shows the stunned woman stop talking for a moment and stare as if shocked.
“You violated, objectified, and embarrassed me,” Bozarjian said on Twitter. “No woman should EVER have to put up with this at work or anywhere!! Do better.”
Thomas Callaway of Statesboro soon stepped forward as the man who slapped Bozarjian. He went to the TV station to give an on-camera apology the station aired Tuesday evening.
“It was an awful act and an awful mistake,” Callaway said.
He also said he was trying to pat Bozarjian on the back or shoulder and didn’t realize until seeing the video that he touched her buttocks.
A video clip of Callaway swatting Bozarjian during her live report had been viewed more than 11 million times on Twitter as of Wednesday.
Savannah police spokeswoman Bianca Johnson said Wednesday the case has been assigned to a detective. No charges have been filed.