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HomeNewsHarrowing video shows woman fiercely fighting off attacker in gym

Harrowing video shows woman fiercely fighting off attacker in gym

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A woman who fought off an attacker at her apartment gym has been praised for her “brave” actions after harrowing CCTV of the incident was released by police.

Nashali Alma, 24, was exercising in the gym at her Florida apartment block when Xavier Thomas-Jones allegedly attacked her on January 22, theNew York Post reports.

Security footage shows Nashali, a trained bodybuilder, initially letting Thomas-Jones into the fitness facility before continuing her workout.

Thomas-Jones is believed to live at the complex, but it’s unclear if Nashali was familiar with him before the attack, FOX13reported.

Several minutes later, she saw the man approach her.

“As soon as he was approaching me, I pushed him,” she said in a video shared by local police force, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

“I said, ‘Bro, what the F are you doing? Get away from me. Stop trying to touch me’,” she explained.

“He started chasing me around the bench, and we ended up on the other side of the gym.”

In the clip, it appears Thomas-Jones eventually gets hold of Nashali and pins her on the floor.

But she can be seen continuing to fight him off while attempting to call emergency services.

Eventually, he released his grip, and she immediately runs out of the gym to a nearby apartment to safety.

Thomas-Jones fled and reportedly tried to enter another woman’s apartment in the complex according to FOX13.

He was arrested less than 24 hours later.

Once in custody, Thomas-Jones allegedly admitted restraining and assaulting Nashali because he wanted to have sex with her, the New York Post reported.

He allegedly targeted the second woman, whose name hasn’t been released, because he thought she was “pretty”.

He’s since been held on charges of sexual battery, false imprisonment, burglary and kidnapping, Fox News stated.

“I was disgusted by the suspect’s actions, how he preyed on this young woman,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said.

“I’m grateful that she came forward, I know her story is going to be an inspiration to other women.”

The footage has since gone viral, with thousands of people commending Nashali for her “quick thinking”.

She later credited her fitness for being able to escape, stating: “I was confident I had the strength and mentality to fight back.”

“I was much stronger than I think with all my fitness work and bodybuilding, I am proud to be a bodybuilder,” she told

Women being harassed at the gym is not a new phenomenon. A study from 2021 found that 76 per cent of women feel uncomfortable exercising in public due to harassment, The Guardian previously reported.

Almost 56 per cent of women said they had faced harassment during their workouts, a survey from Run Repeat found last year.

But data shows 92 per cent of cases go unreported.

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