The jogger who brazenly slapped a Georgia reporter’s behind on live TV spoke out for the first time in an interview Tuesday, claiming he didn’t realize where he’d touched the journalist.
Tommy Callaway, 43, a married father of two who is a youth group leader at his church, as well as a Boy Scout leader, tried to explain why he smacked WSAV-TV’s Alex Bozarjian as she reported from the Savannah Bridge Run 10K Saturday.
“I got caught up in the moment,” he told Inside Edition. “I was getting ready to bring my hands up and wave to the camera to the audience, there was a misjudge in character and decision-making.”
“I touched her back; I did not know exactly where I touched her.”
A clip of the on-air assault shared by the reporter on Twitter soon went viral — and Callaway was identified and banned from future races.
The video showed a man in a hat and sunglasses appearing to slap Bozarjian as he ran past. She could be seen recoiling in shock and staring off at the runner, before composing herself and continuing her broadcast.
“To the man who smacked my butt on live TV this morning: You violated, objectified, and embarrassed me,” she wrote.
“No woman should EVER have to put up with this at work or anywhere!! Do better.”
Callaway said he does intend to “do better.”
“I totally agree 100 percent with her statement and the two most important words were her last two words, ‘do better.’ And that’s my intention,” he said.
“I did not see her facial reaction as I just kept on running. If I did see her facial reaction, I would have felt embarrassed and ashamed and stopped and turned around to apologize to her.”
Callaway reached out to the journalist to say his intention wasn’t to hurt her and that he didn’t intend to slap her.
“I’m not going to really debate that — because he did hurt me,” Bozarjian told CBS’ “This Morning” earlier on Tuesday.
“He helped himself to a part of my body,” she said.
“It’s not OK to help yourself to a woman’s body just because you feel like it. It’s not playful. He hurt me, both physically and emotionally,” Bozarjian said.
While Callaway’s lawyer said they “do not expect any criminal charges,” Bozarjian said she filed a police report and is leaving it up to officers.
“I think what is most important here is he took my power, and I’m trying to take that back,” she said. “I want to take my time with that.”
The post Runner who slapped TV reporter’s behind speaks out: ‘I got caught up in the moment’ appeared first on New York Post.