TAMPA, FLORIDA — The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has released surveillance footage capturing the attack on 24-year-old Nashali Alma by a stranger, 25-year-old Xavier Thomas-Jones, in an apartment complex gym in Tampa on January 22.
Alma was exercising alone when she let Thomas-Jones into the gym as she had seen him there previously, according to Fox 13. He approached Alma and attempted to grab her waist, and when she refused, he chased her around the gym before pinning her down. Alma can be seen on the footage fighting back and trying to call for help.
You can see the footage here:
Despite the attack, Alma did not show any fear, saying, “I am a bodybuilder, and I’m actually pretty strong, so in my mind, he was kinda equal to me.”
She had a simple mindset on winning the fight.
“The more fight you put the more they want to give up and just told,” she said according to Fox 13. “If I keep going, I keep pushing, he’s going to stop. He’s going to let go and he finally did.”
Even in a situation where she had little choice but to fight back, that’s still pretty incredible bravery.
Eventually, Thomas-Jones released Alma, and she fled to a nearby apartment, where she called the authorities.
The following day, Thomas-Jones returned to the same apartment complex and watched another woman on her balcony before attempting to enter her apartment. Fortunately, the woman’s fiancé was present and chased Thomas-Jones away.
Deputies arrested Thomas-Jones in less than 24 hours and charged him with sexual battery, false imprisonment, burglary, and kidnapping. In court documents, Thomas-Jones admitted to attacking Alma because he wanted to have sex with her and that he approached the second victim because he found her attractive.
It’s a hard truth: there are some really insane, awful people in this world, and it’s not impossible to be locked into a fight for your life for no logical reason.
Be prepared. Choose to carry concealed, and try to find means of active self protection at all times — even at the gym.