After garnering national attention, reporter addresses being smacked by runner live on TV

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – An incident involving a reporter in Savannah, Georgia has garnered national attention. WSAV’s Alex Bozarjian is now speaking out after she said she was smacked on the backside by a runner while live on television.

Bozarjian was reporting live at the Enmarket Savannah Bridge Run when an incident took place involving one of the runners. A video from Saturday’s live report has now been viewed millions of times online.

In the video, a man in a long-sleeved blue shirt moves behind her and appears to hit her on her backside.

Bozarjian said he slapped her hard enough that it not only startled her, but physically hurt her.

“He separates himself from the runners and he kind of winds up and, you know, he hit me hard,” Bozarjian said on CBS This Morning.

There’s been enough attention drawn to the incident on social media that she appeared on the morning show Tuesday to discuss what happened.

“It was extremely vulnerable,” Bozarjian said. “I would say that the reason why maybe it caught so much fire is because the emotion is extremely relatable for women all over the world.”

The man at the center of this has been identified as Thomas Callaway. WSAV, which is a sister station of CBS 17, sat down with him on Tuesday.

He said the incident never should have happened and he’s sorry.

“I’m thankful for this opportunity to share my apology to her and to her family, her friends, and her co-workers,” Callaway said. “It was an awful act and an awful mistake.”

“I am not that person that people are portraying me as. I make mistakes. I’m not perfect and I’m asking for forgiveness and to accept my apology,” he added.

Callaway said he was caught up in the moment, but he regrets that the publicity about the race centered on his actions and not on the event itself.

Meanwhile, the Savannah Sports Council, which organized Saturday’s run, is banning Callaway from future events — something he said he accepts.

Bozarjian has filed a report with the Savannah Police Department.

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