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A determined Florida woman managed to fight off a deranged man who attacked her while she was in the gym of her apartment complex, with the entire harrowing struggle caught on surveillance video.
In a video posted by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office on their Instagram account, Nashali Alma, 24, said that she was working out alone in the gym of the Inwood Park Apartment Complex in Tampa on January 22 when she noticed a man – Xavier Thomas-Jones, 25 – attempting to enter from outside.
She said that she had seen him in the gym previously, so she thought it would be okay to let him in. Unfortunately, she was proven to be wrong when Thomas-Jones – as seen on video – approached her and attempted to grab her around the waist.
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“As soon as he was approaching me, I pushed him,” Alma said. “I said, ‘Bro, what the F are you doing? Get away from me. Stop trying to touch me.’ He started chasing me around the bench, and we ended up on the other side of the gym.”
Alma resisted and attempted to run away, but Thomas-Jones proceeded to chase her around the gym and eventually pinned her to the floor, giving the young woman no choice but to attempt to fight her attacker off.
Eventually, Alma managed to free herself and run from the gym to a nearby apartment, where she called 911; deputies responded and, within 24 hours, tracked down Thomas-Jones and placed him under arrest.
“My advice would be to never give up,” Alma said to women who may find themselves in her unfortunate situation. “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.”
According to court documents, Thomas-Jones is a resident at the same apartment complex where the attack took place, and allegedly admitted to authorities after his arrest that he had assaulted Alma because he intended to have sex with her.
“I was disgusted by the suspect’s actions, how he preyed on this young woman,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “I’m grateful that she came forward, I know her story is going to be an inspiration to other women.”