Emelia Holden is a waitress at Vinnie Van Go-Go’s pizzeria in Savannah, Ga. As she was finishing up her shift on June 30, a man passed by her and groped her. She immediately reacted, body slamming him and yanking him down to the floor. The incident was vividly caught by the surveillance camera and has gone viral upon its release.

She has been working at the pizzeria for about a year and a half and has never been inappropriately touched before.

While she can tolerate some things, she said, “but with stuff like that, no.” Holden added, My whole thing is respect. As long as you respect me, I’m going to respect you.”


The surveillance cameras in the restaurant were recently installed, after another man had assaulted other servers. They weren’t able to press charges as Holden had since there wasn’t enough evidence.

The man who groped Holden has been identified as the 31-year-old Ryan Cherwinski of Palm Bay, Fla. Other servers and cooks kept him from fleeing before police came. They immediately arrested him after watching the video.

Holden’s cousin then shared the video to Reddit and it has since made its way to nearly all social media platforms. Holden said many other women have reached out to her, telling their own stories of sexual harassment. They even said they’ve become inspired to act more assertively next time thanks to Holden’s bravery.


“I’ve cried because I’ve been so touched by what people are saying,” Holden said.

So far, she’s redirected about $13,000 in donations to a local animal shelter and around $3,000 for a spay and neuter organization, according to The New York Times.

Holden said the staff has been treated more nicely by customers since the video released and tips have increased.


“I’m just happy that he was held accountable,” she said. “And I’m very happy that there have been so many women empowered by all of this.”

Watch the incident below:

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