We occasionally report disturbing stories of runners being assaulted, but it’s rare that runners the ones committing assault. A video clip of a female reporter being struck on the rear end by a runner in a 10K race in Georgia yesterday has sparked outrage on social media.
Alex Bozarjian of WSAV News Enmarket Savannah Bridge Run was reporting live at the race as runners in high spirits ran past her, when suddenly a man wearing sunglasses and a hat came up very close behind her. Viewers couldn’t clearly see what he did, but Bozarjian’s shocked reaction made it obvious. Later, a woman named Tonya with the Twitter handle @GrrrlZilla tweeted the clip, which elicited a long thread of negative reactions, including by Bozarjian, who commented: “To the man who smacked my butt on live TV this morning: You violated, objectified and embarrassed me. No woman should EVER have to put up with this at work or anywhere! Do better.”
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) December 10, 2019
Tonya later tweeted, “We watch WSAV in our house every single morning. Their staff is like extended family to us. I’m furious about this.”
Later, the runner was identified by numerous commenters (who noted his bib number, 7553) as Statesboro, Ga. resident Thomas Reuben Callaway. Several commenters also noticed that there was a police vehicle parked a few metres behind the scene, speculating that its dash cam would clearly show the assault, where the news outlet’s camera did not.
We got him. pic.twitter.com/p1gBUMMnUj
— Kamala Harris 2028 (@Rowlegendary) December 8, 2019
As of this morning, Callaway had not been disqualified from the race, and his results are still showing in the “Double Pump” combined 5K/10K. One commenter noted he had deleted his Twitter, Instagram and Linked In accounts.
Keturah Greene, public information co-ordinator with Savannah Police, told us they are in communication with Bozarjian and happy to assist her in whatever way she would like. “At this point, our involvement depends on what she would like to do next.” We have not been able to reach Bozarjian for comment on whether she intends to press charges.