Shamed runner who slapped reporter’s butt speaks out: ‘I didn’t know exactly where I touched her’

(Video screenshots)

The infamous runner who slapped a Georgia reporter on her hiney on live television has been outed as Tommy Callaway, 43, a married father of two who serves as a youth group leader at his church and as a Boy Scout leader.

Social media sleuths reportedly identified Callaway via his readily visible runner’s bib number:

After being outed, he then appeared on Inside Edition to tell his side of the story.

“I was caught up in the moment,” he said. “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.”

He also addressed the following scathing tweet that his victim, Savannah station WSAV reporter Alex Bozarjian, had posted after the incident occurred:

“I totally agree 100 percent with her statement, and the two most important words were her last two words, ‘do better,'” Callaway 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.”

Listen to his apology below:

It’s unclear though whether Bozarjian plans to forgive him.

“He took my power, and I’m trying to take that back,” she said during an appearance earlier this week on “CBS This Morning.” “Whether I’m open to that or not, I want to take my time with that. I think what it really comes down to is, he helped himself to a part of my body.”

“It’s not OK to help yourself to a woman’s body just because you feel like it,” she reportedly added. “It’s not playful. He hurt me, both physically and emotionally.”

What also remains unclear is whether she intends to pursue criminal charges against him.

“While many have called for Callaway to be charged with sexual assault or battery, Savannah Police say it will be up to Bozarjian if she wants to file criminal charges,” notes.

But according to the New York Post, “she filed a police report and is leaving it up to officers.”

The incident that spawned this now-nationwide scandal occurred Saturday in Savannah, where Bozarjian was slapped on her behind while covering a local 10K run.


The footage above triggered massive outrage not only from Bozarjian and her closest supporters but also from women — and fellow reporters — across the country.

As a result, Callaway has become public enemy number one, though his attorney, Joseph Turner of the Savannah-based The Turner Firm, has tried to downplay his client’s actions by contrasting them with his record as a “loving” husband and community leader.

“While we regret the situation, Mr. Callaway did not act with any criminal intentions,” he reportedly said in a statement. “Tommy is a loving husband and father who is very active in his community.”

“We have been in touch with WSAV and representatives for Ms. Alex Bozarjian, as well as members of Savannah law enforcement. We do not expect any criminal charges to arise from this incident, and we are working with those involved to correct the situation.”

That may certainly be, but as it stands, Callaway is now permanently banned by the Savannah Sports Council from ever participating in his local community’s future running events.

“We will not tolerate behavior like this at a Savannah Sports Council event. We have made the decision to ban this individual from registering for all Savannah Sports Council owned races,” the council said in a Twitter statement:

What’s known about Callaway is that he works in sales.

“[He] works in sales at Swedish Match North America in Statesboro, Georgia. … Swedish Match has not commented about the incident involving Callaway. He has worked at the company for more than 12 years, starting in March 2007,” has confirmed.

He also reportedly volunteers as a church leader at Pittman Park UMC.


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