Nashali Alma, a 24-year-old Florida woman, is speaking out about her terrifying experience fighting off an attacker in her apartment complex gym. The entire incident was caught on camera, and the footage has been released by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
In the video, Alma describes how the suspect, identified as 25-year-old Xavier Thomas-Jones, approached her while she was exercising alone. Alma had let Thomas-Jones into the gym because she recognized him from previous workouts.
However, Thomas-Jones reportedly attempted to grab Alma’s waist, prompting her to yell at him to stop. He proceeded to chase her around the gym, and the confrontation eventually resulted in him pinning her to the floor. Alma continued to fight off the attacker and attempted to call 911 before he released her and she fled the gym.
The incident took place on January 22, and deputies were quickly called to the Inwood Park Apartment Complex in Tampa to investigate. Thomas-Jones was arrested less than 24 hours later and now faces charges of sexual battery, false imprisonment, and kidnapping.
Alma’s bravery has been praised by local law enforcement, with Sheriff Chad Chronister stating, “I’m grateful that she came forward, I know her story is going to be an inspiration to other women.”
Alma hopes that her story will encourage others to fight back in the face of danger. “My advice would be to never give up,” she says. “My parents always told me in life, to never give up on anything and that’s one thing I always kept in my mind when I was fighting him.”