A reporter who was groped on live television by a participant in the event she was covering said she was left feeling “violated, objectified and embarrassed” after the incident.
Alexandrea Bozarjian, a reporter with NBC News affiliate WSAV in Savannah, Ga., was covering the annual Enmarket Savannah Bridge Run when her behind was apparently smacked by a male participant who ran past her on Saturday.
A video of the groping was posted to Twitter and was used by Bozarjian to call out the incident shortly after it happened.
“To the man who smacked my butt on live TV this morning: You violated, objectified, and embarrassed me,” wrote Bozarjian. “No Woman should EVER have to put up with this at work or anywhere!! Do better.”
As of 4 p.m. ET Sunday, the video has been viewed over six million times.
The clip opens with Bozarjian surprised after several participants ran past her, waving at the camera. One participant almost bumped into her, prompting Bozarjian to say, “Woah! Not expecting that,” after laughing.
Shortly after that, a man dressed in sunglasses, a hat and a navy blue long sleeve shirt with a red dot in the middle runs behind her and appears to smack her.
Bozarjian was immediately taken aback, staring at the man for some time before regaining her composure to continue the coverage.
Bozarjian has not responded Global News’ request for comment, but the Savannah Police Department, however, did confirm to NBC News that they were in contact with her.
“We’ve talked to her about the situation. I can’t discuss it further, but it’s up to Alexandrea on how she wants to handle the situation,” public information coordinator Keturah Greene told NBC News.
“All I can say is we have made contact with Alexandrea and we are definitely going to be working with her in any capacity on how she’d like to move forward with this incident.”
Robert Wells, the director of the Savannah Sports Council, came forward on Twitter to condemn the action, promising to identify the man.
“Alex, what happened today is 100 per cent unacceptable,” tweeted Wells. “You have my assurance we will identify him.”
Others took to Twitter to express their outrage, as well as support for Bozarjian.
“Don’t just ban him from events. Arrest him, book him and make sure there is a cost for hitting woman,” wrote one user.
“DO NOT TOUCH REPORTERS. Period,” wrote another.