(NBC) – A reporter in Savannah, Georgia, was groped on live television when a runner participating in the annual Enmarket Savannah Bridge Run smacked her behind while jogging past her live shot on Saturday.
Alexandrea Bozarjian, a reporter with WSAV — an NBC News affiliate — was covering the race, in which participants run across the Talmadge Bridge, when the incident occurred.
A clip of the groping was posted to Twitter, where it was viewed nearly 5 million times as of 12 p.m. on Sunday.
In the video, participants are running past Bozarjian and waving to the camera, with some coming so close to the reporter that she appeared startled.
“Woah! Not expecting that,” Bozarjian said with a laugh as one participant almost collided with her.
She continued talking, saying, “Some people dress up in costume … so it’s very exciting.”
As Bozarjian said “exciting,” a man in a navy blue top, sunglasses and a hat passes the reporter and appears to grope her. Borzarjian appears caught off guard, stopping in her tracks and staring off at the man.
She takes a moment to regain her composure, before jumping back in to her coverage.
On Twitter, Bozarjian addressed the groping.
“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,” she wrote.
Bozarjian did not immediately respond to a request for comment made by NBC News, but a spokesperson for the Savannah Police Department confirmed they had been in touch 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,” Keturah Greene, public information coordinator for the Savannah Police Department 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.”
NBC News was not immediately able to confirm the identity of the man who groped Bozarjian, but he was swiftly condemned on Twitter.
“This will not be tolerated at our events. Glad we have race bibs and photos for easy identification,” tweeted Robert Wells, director of the Savannah Sports Council.
Caitlyn Penter, a reporter for New 13 WNC in North Carolina, tweeted, “DO NOT TOUCH REPORTERS. Period.”
Later, the Savannah Sports Council said the man has been banned from participating in its races.