A runner was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of sexual battery after being accused of slapping and grabbing the buttocks of a female reporter during a race in Georgia.
Savannah police confirmed that Thomas Callaway, 43, was arrested after turning himself in. He was later released on $1,300 bail. If convicted, Calloway could face up to a year in jail.
On Dec. 7, WSAV reporter Alex Bozarjian was in the middle of a live broadcast as the nearby runners took part in the Enmarket Savannah Bridge Run.
A man in a long-sleeved blue shirt then moves behind her and appears to hit her on her backside. Bozarjian later filed a sexual battery report with the Savannah Police Department, with the intention of her having her day in court.
"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," she tweeted following the alleged assault.
Callaway has been banned from all future races by the Savannah Sports Council. Calloway spoke to the local news outlet an expressed his regret.
He said that "it was an awful act, it was an awful mistake," apologizing to Bozarjian as well as her family, friends, and co-workers.
He then claimed that he knew he had touched her but did not know where, as he ran past, adding that he had wanted to tap her on the shoulder or the back.
"I feel awful, I feel embarrassed and ashamed," he said.
Bozarjian's attorney, Gloria Allred, spoke to WSAV via email.
"Alex is looking forward to justice in this case," she said, calling the action "reprehensible and completely unacceptable" and that "No one should ever be disrespected in this manner."