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Man accused of slapping reporter's bottom on live TV says he got "caught up in the moment"

Man who slapped TV reporter speaks out

A man accused of slapping a TV reporter's bottom during a live report said he didn't know he had touched that part of her body. Tommy Callaway told "Inside Edition" he was going to wave at the camera during Alex Bozarjian's report on a fun run in Savannah, Georgia, and he got "caught up in the moment."

On Tuesday's "CBS This Morning," Bozarjian said Callaway slapped her bottom hard as he ran by her. In a clip of the incident that has been viewed more than 11 million times, Bozarjian then looks on with a shocked expression on her face as the married father of two runs away.

Alex Bozarjian, reporter slapped by man during race coverage: "He took my power"

"There was a misjudge in character and decision-making," Callaway told "Inside Edition." "I touched her back. I did not know exactly where I touched her … I did not see her facial reaction. I just kept on running, and if I did see her facial reaction, I would have been embarrassed. I'd have felt ashamed, and I would have stopped, turned around and went back and apologized to her."

On Tuesday, Bozarjian told "CBS This Morning" that while Callaway's actions were more common several years ago they're unacceptable. "It's not OK to help yourself to a woman's body just because you feel like it," she said. "It's not playful. He hurt me, both physically and emotionally."

After Saturday's incident, Bozarjian addressed Callaway on Twitter without identifying him. "No woman should EVER have to put up with this at work or anywhere!!" Bozarjian said. "Do better."

Callaway responded to the tweet on "Inside Edition." "I totally agree 100% with her statement, and the two most important words were her last two words, 'do better,' and that's my intention," Callaway said.

Bozarjian filed a police report on the incident. On Wednesday, she said she supports criminal charges being filed against Callaway.

"I want to make it clear that this doesn't mean I can't/won't forgive him," Bozarjian said in a statement to CBS News. "I hope to get to that point eventually, but as in any sexual assault case, it has to be on my terms when I'm ready."

In a statement Monday, Callaway's attorney W. Joseph Turner said his client "did not act with any criminal intentions."

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said Tommy Callaway was a youth minister.

Disclosure: "Inside Edition" is distributed by CBS Television Distribution, a division of ViacomCBS.

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