The man who slapped a TV news reporter’s backside as she covered a local community race in Georgia was arrested on Friday on a misdemeanor sexual battery charge.
The assault was caught on camera as reporter Alex Bozarjian spoke about the Enmarket Savannah Bridge Run last Saturday. In the video multiple runners are seen excitedly waving at the camera as they pass before Thomas Callaway, a married youth pastor and Boy Scout leader, runs up behind Bozarjian and slaps her backside before running off. Clearly in shock, Bozarjian pauses her newscast and glares at Callaway before resuming her report.
Bozarjian filed a police report against Callaway on Wednesday, according to authorities. In her complaint, Bozarjian described the incident as a “smack and grab.” Two days later, Callaway turned himself in to local authorities, and has since been released on a $1,300 bond.
Gloria Allred, the attorney representing Bozarjian, made a statement to WSAV, the local news station Bozarjian works for, saying, “Alex is looking forward to justice in this case.”
“It was extremely vulnerable,” Bozarjian said to CBS This Morning on Tuesday. “I would say that the reason why maybe it caught so much fire is because the emotion is extremely relatable for women all over the world.” Shortly after the assault, Bozarjian expressed her outrage on Twitter describing how violating the incident was and how it made her feel.
In an interview with WSAV, Callaway publicly apologized to Bozarjian. “Alex, I am sorry. I did not mean to do this. I think you’re a great, great asset to this community and to the local media and to the national media,” said Callaway. “You’re very talented. You’re an amazing woman from what I’ve gathered, and I apologize.”
Sexual battery is considered a misdemeanor in Georgia. Callaway faces a possible punishment of up to 12 months in jail and a fine of $5,000 for first-time offenders.