Tampa gym attack: Terrifying video shows woman fight off attacker inside empty Florida apartment complex gym

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL — A Hillsborough County woman successfully defended herself against a man who physically assaulted her at her condominium gym.

The attack happened on January 22 at the Oaks of Woodland Park Apartments in Tampa.

Nashali Alma, 24, trained alone. She let the suspect into the gym because she had previously seen him at the gym, WFTS reported.

“Usually people forget their keychains and key fobs. We let them in, so I let the Lord in. I didn’t think twice about letting him in. I was in the middle of my workout,” Alma said.

Surveillance video showed Alma continuing her workout while the suspect, Xavier Thomas-Jones, approached her and tried to grab her waist. Alma pushed him away and kept fighting him. The attack lasted more than a minute.

“After wrestling on the ground for a bit, I walked ahead and tugged at his whiskers. I started spinning, spinning, spinning I could see from his face that it was really, really hurting,” Alma said.

Thomas-Jones was able to pin Alma to the ground, but Alma continued to fend him off while he attempted to call 911.

“The moment I tried to call 911, he tried to grab my arm, or he grabbed me at that moment. I can’t call 911, so I’ll have to resist it for now,” Alma said.

Alma is a bodybuilder. She said she hopes he will eventually tire as they keep fighting.

“That’s been my thought the whole time because the more you fight the more tired I think they get because they see how damn this girl fights. You know, you can see at the end of the video that he was tired,” Alma said.

Alma was able to break free, run out of the gym and call 911.

HSCO was able to locate Thomas-Jones and arrested him on January 23. He faces charges of sexual harassment, false imprisonment and kidnapping. Alma wanted to share her experiences to encourage other women who have dealt with similar incidents to speak up.

“I would tell every woman to keep fighting and never give up,” Alma said. “As long as you fight back and show him you’re strong and don’t give up, I believe it’s possible to escape. It’s better to contact law enforcement sooner than later. The sooner they have the information, the sooner they can catch that person.”

“I was disgusted by the suspect’s actions in exploiting this young woman,” said Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister.

According to a crime report affidavit, Thomas-Jones had a similar incident the day after the gym attack. Thomas-Jones knocked on another woman’s door after watching her on her balcony for several minutes, authorities said.

“He comes and knocks on the door and I answer and I think it might be a janitor or something and I open the door and he says do you want to hang out with him?” the woman said.

MPs said Thomas-Jones took about four steps into the apartment. The woman’s fiancé was at home and chased him away.

“You have no idea who I am. They were clearly watching me from outside my apartment and just decided to come out and knock on my door. It was weird. It was really weird, really scary,” she said.

Thomas-Jones reportedly admitted to MPs that he wanted to have sexual relations with both women.

(The CNN Wire & 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.)

https://6abc.com/tampa-gym-attack-woman-fights-off-attacker-caught-on-camera-xavier-thomas-jones/12827969/ Tampa gym attack: Terrifying video shows woman fight off attacker inside empty Florida apartment complex gym

Alley Einstein

Alley Einstein is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Alley Einstein joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing Alley@ustimespost.com.

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