Watch Instagram Fitness Model Nashali Alma Fight Off Attacker in Florida Gym
In a video getting national attention, Florida Man Xavier Thomas-Jones, 25, was arrested after he attacked Instagram Fitness model Nashali Alma at her apartment complex gym.
The incident occurred in the Inwood Park Apartment Complex in Tampa on January 22 but only recently came to light when the sheriff’s office released the video. After the attack, Alma wanted to tell her story and advised women in similar situations to ‘Never give up.’
Hillsborough County deputies responded to the Inwood Park Apartment complex located on west waters Avenue about a battery.
Upon arrival, deputies spoke with the victim of the attack Nashali Alma who stated she was working out in the apartment complex gym when the suspect, later identified as Xavier Thomas-Jones, arrived at the gym door. Alma stopped her workout and opened the door to the gym. She stated she had seen the man around the complex and believed he lived there.
Surveillance video from the complex gym, later obtained by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, shows Xavier -Jones sit for a while, then make his way toward Alma. He tries to grab her, prompting Alma to yell at him. The man then chases her through the gym and, at one point, takes her to the ground. But Alma fights back, never giving up, and the attacker eventually lets her go. Alma then runs out of the gym.
Sheriff’s investigators said they were able to locate and arrest the suspect, Xavier Thomas-Jones, 25, through “investigative means,” but they did not go into further detail.
Tampa, FL: Xavier Thomas-Jones (25) is facing charges of sexual battery, false imprisonment, burglary, and kidnappings. As of Thursday morning, Thomas-Jones remains in Faulkenburg Jail. Nashali Alma, (24) who told Hillsborough County Sheriff she escaped a man who attacked her in… pic.twitter.com/DLKmXsNTZZ
— DeL2000 (@DeL2000) February 16, 2023
A woman shares her experience after fighting off a man who physically assaulted her in her apartment complex's gym.
Nashali Alma wanted to speak out about her experience to encourage other women who've dealt with similar incidents to speak out. pic.twitter.com/hyTeO3quRA
— HCSO (@HCSOSheriff) February 15, 2023
The sheriff’s office said that Alma “wanted to speak out about her experience to encourage other women who’ve dealt with similar incidents to speak out,” the agency’s news release states. It also includes interviews with her and Sheriff Chad Chronister.
“I would tell every woman always to keep fighting, never give up,” Alma said. “As long as you fight back and show him that you’re strong and you’re not giving up, I believe it’s possible to escape. It’s better to reach out to law enforcement sooner than later. The sooner they have the information, the sooner they can catch that person.”
The Instagram fitness model credits her burgeoning bodybuilding career with helping to save her life.
Sheriff Chronister:” I was disgusted by the suspect’s actions, how he preyed on this young woman. I’m grateful that she came forward; I know her story is going to be an inspiration to other women.”
At one point in the video, Thomas-Jones is seen pinning Alma to the ground, but she continues to strike him while also trying to call the police.
‘When it was happening, I actually had no fear,’ Alma said in describing the attack. ‘I am a bodybuilder, and I’m actually pretty strong, so in my mind, he was kinda equal to me,’ ‘The more fight you put in, the more they want to give up… If I keep going, I keep pushing, he’s going to stop. He’s going to let go, and he finally did.’
Her attacker later told police he was trying to rape her.
Thomas-Jones was transported to the Hillsborough County Jail and charged with sexual battery, false imprisonment, burglary, and kidnapping. He was being held without bail on Thursday.
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