Savannah, GA – A video has gone viral that showed a waitress taking down a customer who grabbed her butt on June 30.
Emilia Holden, 21, told People that she was very surprised when 31-year-old Ryan Cherwinski groped her rear end during her shift at Vinnie Van Go-Go’s in Savannah.
“When I felt that happen, my first thought was that it was one of my friends … it was a really intimate touch,” Holden told People. “His hand went further than it should have so I was thinking, ‘There’s no way a stranger just did that.’”
The incident, which was captured on the restaurant’s surveillance cameras, showed Holden taking some menus back to the bussing station after she took an order.
Two seconds later, Cherwinski walked by her, and reached out his hand and gave her right butt cheek a serious squeeze, the video showed.
In the video, Holden immediately responded to the unwanted grope by grabbing Cherwinski by the back of his shirt, then grabbing him by the neck and tossing him into a trash can adjacent to the service station.
She never even dropped her order pad.
“I didn’t even think, I just reacted,” Holden told People. “I don’t know how I reacted the way I did. I’ve never done that before.”
Holden told a co-worker to call the police, and Cherwinski, of Palm Bay, was arrested and charged with sexual battery, according to the Savannah Police Department.
“The guy claimed that he was just trying to push me out of the way and, ‘Oh, I barely touched you,’” Holden told People.
“Once the police saw the video, they immediately arrested him,” she said. “There was no doubt that he did it.”
Customers at nearby tables gave her high-fives after she tossed the man, Holden said.
Holden said she was happy Cherwinski was arrested, but said she was surprised by the attention the video of his assault had generated.
“I’m not glad that it happened, but I’m glad that it’s had such a positive outcome,” Holden told People.
She said she has received dozens of Facebook messages of praise from women from all around the world.
“I’m glad that other women can see this and know that you can stand up for yourself. You also have the right to wear whatever you want without having to worry about being groped,” Holden said. “It’s nice to know that I have empowered other women.”
Watch the groper get what was coming to him in the video below: