A Tampa, Florida, woman fought for her life when she was attacked late at night in her apartment complex gym by a predator. Nashali Alma has finally spoke out about the attack and has a message for women in similar situations.
“I would tell every woman always to keep fighting, never give up,” Alma said to local authorities.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office released the video of the Jan. 22 attack and was grateful the 24-year-old woman came forward so they could catch this man.
Alma was in the gym working out late around 10:40 p.m. and briefly paused her workout to let Xavier Thomas-Jones into the gym. She said she previously seen the 25-year-old in the apartment complex and that is why she opened the door for him.
She then told Hillsborough County deputies that he didn’t say a word and immediately came behind her to grab her by the waist. She then yelled at him as he chased her around the gym before she fought him off.
“When it was happening, I actually had no fear,” Alma said. “I am a bodybuilder, and I’m actually pretty strong, so in my mind, he was kinda equal to me.”
Alma is not very big in stature but constantly works out and described herself as a female bodybuilder. She struck him against his head repeatedly as they wrestled to the ground. She then put him in a leg lock and he eventually got tired. Alma was able to get out the gym to safety in a nearby apartment.
“The more fight you put the more they want to give up and just told,” she explained. “If I keep going, I keep pushing, he’s going to stop. He’s going to let go and he finally did,” said Alma.
She then called police and they arrived moments later but couldn’t find the suspect.
Authorities say Thomas-Jones returned to the apartment complex the next day after the attack on Alma. He watched another woman on her balcony before he knocked on her front door.
The woman answered and he boldly asked, “Do you want to hang out?”
She responded, “who the f*** are you?”
The woman panicked and tried to go back in her apartment. Thomas-Jones followed her in, but it alerted her fiancé, who then chased him away.
Authorities were able to track him down 24 hours later and arrested him. The second woman’s fiancé identified him in a police lineup. Thomas-Jones is now charged with sexual battery, false imprisonment, burglary, and kidnappings.