Terrifying moment fitness model fights off would-be rapist after attacker pinned her to the ground in horror gym assault | The Sun

THIS is the terrifying moment a fitness model bravely fought off an attacker as he pinned her to the ground at a gym.

Nashali Alma, 24, was exercising alone at the gym in her apartment building in Tampa, Florida when Xavier Thomas-Jones, 25, assaulted her, police said.

CCTV footage showed Alma letting Thomas-Jones into the building at 10.40pm on January 22 before she continued her workout.

Thomas-Jones was then seen approaching Alma and trying to grab her waist before she jumped away and yelled at him to get away from her.

He then chased Alma around the gym before shoving her to the ground as she desperately tried to fight back and call 911.

The suspect eventually released his grip on her, and Alma fled the gym to a nearby apartment to get help.

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In court documents, Thomas-Jones reportedly admitted to restraining and attacking Alma because he wanted to have sex with her.

Alma, who works as a medical lab technician, said she knew she could fight her attacker.

And she wants her harrowing experience to help other women fight for themselves.

She told FOX 13: "When it was happening, I actually had no fear.

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"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 the more they want to give up and just told.

"If I keep going, I keep pushing, he's going to stop. He's going to let go and he finally did."

In a video shared alongside the CCTV footage, Alma said: "As soon as he was approaching me, I pushed him.

"I said, 'bro, what the f are you doing? Get away from me. Stop trying to touch me'.

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

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister called the attack "disgusting".

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

"This woman’s strength, courage, and determination are inspiring.

"I know that her bravery to share this story will impact the lives of many other women."

According to reports, court records show Thomas-Jones lives at the apartment complex.

Cops said Alma had seen him at the gym before, which is why she opened the door for him. 

Thomas-Jones reportedly returned to the apartment complex the day after he attacked Alma.

Police said he watched another woman on her balcony "for several minutes" before knocking on her front door.

Thomas-Jones took four steps into her home, but her fiancée chased the suspect away and took a video of him. 

He was arrested hours later.

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Detectives said the suspect knocked on the front door as he thought the victim was "pretty" and he had sexual intentions.

He faces charges of sexual battery, false imprisonment, burglary, and kidnappings, police said.

How you can get help

Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:

  • Always keep your phone nearby.
  • Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
  • If you are in danger, call 999.
  • Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
  • Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
  • If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
  • Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.

If you are a ­victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support ­service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected]

Women’s Aid provides a live chat service – available weekdays from 8am-6pm and weekends 10am-6pm.

You can also call the freephone 24-hour ­National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

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