Saturday morning, a runner named Tommy Callaway slapped field reporter Alex Bozarjian on the backside as he was running past her during a race. The moment was caught on live TV as many around the country attempted to identify the then-unknown man. Now Callaway is being disciplined for his actions.
According to a statement from the Savannah Sports Council, Callaway has been banned for life from attending events after his actions. Race officials promised swift identification, as well as a punishment. They provided both within 24 hours.
"This weekend at the Enmarket Savannah Bridge Run a reporter from WSAV was inappropriately touched by a registered participant of the event," the Savannah Sports Council said in a statement. "Our title sponsor, Enmarket and the Savannah Sports Council take this matter extremely seriously and fully condemn this individual’s actions. We identified him and shared his information with the reporter and her station.
"We will not tolerate behavior like this at any Savannah Sports Council event. We have made the decision to ban this individual from registering for all Savannah Sports Council owned races."
It was later revealed that Callaway is a local youth group leader at Pittman Park UMC. He is also a Boy Scout leader. His lawyer, Joseph Turner, said that Callaway did not act with any criminal intentions. Additionally, the New York Post reports that Callaway and his lawyer do not expect any criminal charges to be filed against the runner.
"While we regret the situation, Mr. Callaway did not act with any criminal intentions," the lawyer said in a statement. "Tommy is a loving husband and father who is very active in the community. We have been in touch with WSAV and representatives of Ms. Alex Bozarjian, as well as members of Savannah law enforcement."
It was originally reported following the incident that the decision to pursue charges would be left up to the officers. Bozarjian filed a police report after the incident but was initially unsure about pursuing the next step.
“I think what is most important here is he took my power, and I’m trying to take that back,” Bozarjian said. “I want to take my time with that.”0comments
The situation changed on Wednesday, however, as TMZ revealed that Bozarjian would be pursuing sexual battery charges against Callaway. "I think what it really comes down to is that he helped himself to a part of my body," the reporter said during an interview with CBS This Morning.
(Photo Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images for Rock 'N' Roll Marathon)