A TV reporter said she was left “violated” and “embarrassed” after being smacked on the bottom during a live broadcast.
Alex Bozarjian, of WSAV News, was reporting roadside from a 10km race in Savannah, Georgia, when a male participant ran up behind and struck her.
Ms Bozarjian appeared visibly shocked in footage of the incident as streams of runners continued to pass her on Savannah Bridge.
She later condemned the runner, saying: “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.”
Fellow reporters showed their support for Ms Bozarjian’s statement on Twitter, while criticising the man responsible.
“I’m so heated for you,” Emily Bloch of the Florida Times said. “This is disgusting. Sending strength and solidarity your way. Now, let’s get this grimy dude and warn the women in his life.”
ABC News 13’s Caitlyn Penter wrote: “DO NOT TOUCH REPORTERS. Period.”
Ms Bozarjian was covering the annual Savannah Bridge Run on Saturday when the incident happened.
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. https://t.co/PRLXkBY5hn
— Alex Bozarjian (@wsavalexb)
Robert Wells, director of the Savannah sports council, promised to find the runner and take action.
“Alex, what happened today is 100 per cent unacceptable,” Mr Wells said. “You have my assurance we will identify him.
“This will not be tolerated at our events. Glad we have race bibs and photos for easy identification.”