Surprise! The runner who slapped reporter Alex Bozarjian’s butt during a live broadcast is a youth minister and Boy Scout leader who just wants to “correct the situation” according to his lawyer.
The incident occurred on December 7 while Bozarjian was reporting live from the Savannah Bridge Run in Savannah, Georgia. Several runners goofed off in front of the news camera during the race, but one man took it a step too far and proceeded to smack Bozarjian’s backside, leaving her visibly shocked and temporarily speechless. A woman captured the moment on video and posted it to Twitter, which Bozarjian retweeted: “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.”
Amateur online detectives quickly identified the man as Tommy Callaway. According to Heavy, Callaway is a salesman as well as a youth group leader at a United Methodist Church and Scout Leader for the Boy Scouts of America. This exemplary Christian and positive role model for young boys everywhere has since been banned from future Savannah Sports Council-owned races.
Bozarjian spoke about the video—which has been viewed over 11 million times—on CBS Morning News Tuesday morning, attributing its virality to how relatable that violating moment was for women around the world.
She also noted that Callaway reached out to her station, NBC affiliate WSAV-TV, and insisted that he didn’t intend to hurt her. Additionally, in a statement to CBS News, Callaway’s lawyer stated that he, “did not act with any criminal intentions” and that “Tommy is a loving husband and father.” Of course, how much he loves his wife and children is irrelevant to Callaway’s inability to keep his hands to himself. And besides, Bozarjian isn’t interested in his intent.
“I think what’s most important here is that he took my power and I’m trying to take that back,” Bozarjian said. “I think what it really comes down to is that he helped himself to a part of my body.”
Though Callaway’s lawyers do not expect criminal charges, Bozarjian has filed a police report and is leaving Callaway’s fate to them.