Youth minister who slapped reporter’s bum arrested, charged with sex crime


Update (12/14): The youth minister who slapped a reporter’s bottom on live TV during a 5k run in Georgia has been charged with misdemeanor sexual battery.

Married 43-year-old Tommy Callaway was arrested on Friday for what WSAV reporter Alex Bozarjian described as a ‘smack and grab.’

Update: The Georgia TV reporter who had her butt slapped while covering a 5k race in Savannah has filed a police report and is pressing sexual battery charges against Tommy Callaway, according to multiple reports.

Since the incident took place, Callaway has reportedly reached out to WSAV reporter Alex Bozarjian and publicly apologized.

Bozarjian claimed Callaway also ‘grabbed her buttocks’ in the same motion that he slapped her. She described it as a ‘smack and grab.’

Callaway is a married father of 2 and a youth church minister.

EARLIER:

Nelson Oliveira, New York Daily News

He won’t be crossing that line again.

The pervy runner who appeared to grope a TV reporter during a 10K race in Georgia last week has been banned from all Savannah Sports Council events, the organization announced Sunday.

Footage of the incident went viral over the weekend after Alex Bozarjian, who was covering the race for NBC affiliate WSAV, called out the creep in a social media post.

“To the man who smacked my butt on live TV this morning: You violated, objectified, and embarrassed me,” she tweeted.” No woman should EVER have to put up with this at work or anywhere!! Do better.”

The Savannah Sports Council, which organizes several athletic events in the city, said the alleged groper has been identified and has been banned from registering for all of its races. The organization also shared the man’s name and information with the reporter in case she decides to press charges against him.

Bozarjian was reporting live from the race Saturday when a man wearing a hat and sunglasses slapped her butt as he and dozens of other event participants jogged by her. The reporter appeared stunned and in disbelief, but she quickly regained her composure and continued the live segment despite the shock.

Twitter users quickly found a separate image of the man and identified him through his bib number. The number seen in the picture was registered to Tommy Callaway, according to the website Online Race Results. He could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday.

Bozarjian was praised for her professionalism and class in handling such a difficult situation.

“Just have respect for other people,” fellow WSAV reporter and anchor Danni Dikes tweeted. “Don’t touch reporters who are out their doing their jobs. Great job handling this situation on air.”

“Alex, what happened today is 100% unacceptable,” Robert Wells, director of the Savannah Sports Council, told the reporter on Twitter. “You have my assurance we will identify him.”

It was not the first time a female reporter was inappropriately touched on live TV this year. In September, a man approached an NBC reporter in Kentucky and kissed her cheek during a live segment. The 42-year-old creep was charged with harassment with physical contact.

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