A woman in Georgia is getting praise from people across the country and on social media, after video surfaced online of her defending herself against a man who allegedly groped her.
The video, which was captured on June 30 at Vinnie Van GoGo’s in Savannah, Ga., shows 21-year-old Emelia Holden, a waitress at the restaurant, about to place an order at the counter when a man walks by and appears to touch her buttocks.
Holden then walks up to the man, grabs him by the shirt and tosses him into a chair before speaking to him. She says she then called the police.
“I took someone’s order and I was getting ready to set them up and then I just felt it,” she told CBS affiliate WTOC. “I was like, ‘Nope, that’s not going to happen,’ and turned around and took the guy down.”
She admitted she was surprised by her strength, saying she’s 115 pounds but believes she “had the right stance for it.”
After being posted on the website Reddit by a person identifying themselves as Holden’s cousin, people have been circulating the video and eliciting various responses, most of them defending the girl’s actions.
“Really glad this 21 y/o waitress stood up for herself after a customer groped her. That was an epic body slam,” said Mikea Turner, a CBS reporter at WUSA 9, on Twitter.
Twitter user Brienne of Snark said she could “never get tired of watching her body slam this guy.”
Those who spoke with NBC News after being shown the video had similar reactions.
“He got what he deserved,” one woman said. “He didn’t have the right to put his hands on her. She’s working … She stuck up for herself and more women need to do that.”
Another woman called it degrading and disrespectful.
WATCH: Georgia waitress who body-slammed alleged groper speaks out
Savannah police charged 31-year-old Ryan Cherwinski of Palm Bay, Fla., according to a police report obtained by WTOC. The report says Cherwinski claims it was “an accident that he grabbed the waitress [and] that he was only trying to inform her that to move because she was in the way.”
The 21-year-old says she doesn’t believe that excuse.
“‘Oh, I was just trying to move you out of the way,'” Holden said. “No, we knew what you were doing.”
She said seeing him put in handcuffs was “justice” not only for her, but for other women.
There have been a few negative responses to the video, Holden said, with at least one person saying, “those shorts are small,” which she said is upsetting.
“That shouldn’t matter. It’s upsetting to see people that have that train of thought, but it’s really reassuring to see how positive everyone else has responded to it,” she said.
Cherwinski faces a misdemeanour count of sexual battery.
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