The runner who slapped a WSAV-TV reporter’s backside finally came forward and apologized for his “awful act”. Tommy Callaway is a 43-year-old youth minister and said that he didn’t mean to do it he acted out of character when he touched the reporter, Alex Bozarijan, while she was covering the Enmarket Savannah Bridge Run in Georgia on December 7.
During an interview in the Inside Edition Tuesday, he exclaimed, “I was getting ready to bring my hands up and wave to the camera, to the audience, and there was a misjudgment in character and decision-making. I touched her back. I did not know exactly where I touched her”.
Meanwhile, Bozarijan shared the incident on her Twitter account on Saturday, and she was shocked after Callaway touched her. She wrote, “To the man who smacked my butt on live TV this morning: You violated, objectified, and embarrassed me,” she wrote on Twitter alongside the 16-second clip. “No woman should EVER have to put up with this at work or anywhere!! Do better.” She also explained “It’s not OK to help yourself to a woman’s body just because you feel like it,”
Callaway, on the other hand, said that he took her words to heart and responded to the tweet from Inside Edition “I agree 100 percent with her statement, the two most important words were her last two words, ‘Do better,’ and that’s my intention.” He added, “If I did see her facial reaction, I would’ve been embarrassed, felt ashamed, and I would’ve stopped, turned around, and apologized to her. He was disappointed in himself, and he felt horrible.
Bozarijan further said that his slap was “heavy impact” and he hit her hard. Watching the clip again was an “out-of-body” experience. “I think what is most important here is he took my power, and I’m trying to take that back,”.
The reporter already filed a sexual battery report to the police on Wednesday. While the lawyer of Tommy Callaway, W. Joseph Turner, told CBS that his client didn’t act with any criminal intentions. In his statement, it said: Tommy is a loving husband and father. We do not expect any criminal charges.” The lawyer didn’t respond to any more requests for comment.
On CBS This Morning, Bozarijan said, “Whether I’m open to [hearing his apology] or not, I want to take my time with that. I think what it comes down to is, he helped himself to a part of my body.”
Furthermore, the Savannah Sports Council that manages the bridge run also made its announcement regarding the incident. It was shared on their Twitter on Saturday – “We will not tolerate behavior like this at a Savannah Sports Council event. We have decided to ban this individual from registering for all Savannah Sports Council owned races.
Bozarijan, on the other hand, said in a statement “I want to make it clear that this doesn’t mean I can’t/won’t forgive him, I hope to get to that point eventually, but as in any sexual assault case, it has to be on my terms when I’m ready.”