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Waitress Who Body Slammed Man After He Groped Her Says She Just Reacted

"All that I want from my experience is for women to know that it's okay to stand up for yourself," waitress Emelia Holden said.

By Jill Sederstrom

A waitress who body slammed a man after he groped her in a Georgia restaurant said she reacted on instinct during the incident, which has gone viral.

"I didn't even think, I just reacted," Emelia Holden, 21, told People. "I don't know how I reacted the way I did. I've never done that before."

According to Holden, she had been working at Vinnie Van Go-Go's in Savannah, Georgia when a man grabbed her backside as he walked by her. Surveillance video footage then shows Holden turn around, grab the man, and throw him into a counter.

"I looked at him and I said, 'You don't touch me, motherf-----," she told People.

A coworker later called police and Ryan Cherwinski of Palm Bay, Florida was arrested and charged with sexual battery.

Holden told People Cherwinski had initially claimed he was trying to push her out of the way but the video footage led police to arrest him.

"There was no doubt that he did it," she said.

Cherwinski is reportedly a father of twins and had been out on a date night with his long-term girlfriend when the altercation occurred around 11 p.m. on June 30, according to the Daily Mail.

He was released from jail July 2 on $2,500 bail, they reported.

Since the incident has gone viral, Holden has received praise from women everywhere commending her on her quick thinking and ability to defend herself.

"All that I want from my experience is for women to know that it's okay to stand up for yourself," she told the Daily Mail. "You have every right to wear what you want and you most certainly have every right to defend yourself."

Onlookers at the bar also reportedly gave Holden high-fives after she took Cherwinski down.

Holden is using the attention she's received from the incident to try to do some good in her community and has started a GoFundMe page benefiting the Palmetto Animal League.

"Recently a video of me went viral and I’ve been getting a lot of attention for it. I’d like to take this opportunity to give back to something that means a great deal to me, CATS!," she wrote on the site.

[Photo: Chatham County Sheriff's Office]

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