Nashali Alma, a 24-year-old NPC bodybuilder and fitness influencer, escaped with her life following a frightening encounter with a deranged man. In a video obtained by NBC News, Alma can be seen bravely attacking and fighting off her male attacker on January 22.
“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,” Nashali Alma shared.
Alma was training at her apartment gym in the Inwood Park Apartment Complex in Tampa, Florida when Xavier Thomas-Jones approached and attacked her at 10 P.M. As stated by the sheriff’s office, security footage showed Alma letting her attacker into the gym. The 25-year-old male attempted to grab her waist, but she was able to break free.
In the terrifying ordeal caught on camera, Alma sparred with the man and attempted to defend herself. However, she was ultimately pinned down and mounted by the assailant. Fortunately, Nashali Alma could get back to her feet, escape the gym, and quickly call 911. Thomas-Jones fled the scene and tried to break into a different woman’s apartment but was later arrested by authorities.
Following his arrest, Thomas-Jones allegedly revealed that he was restraining and battering Alma to rape her, (according to FOX13). His alleged targeting of the other unidentified woman was because he thought she was ‘pretty.’
NPC Bodybuilder Escapes with Life, Assailant Remains in Custody
As of Thursday, Nashali Alma’s attacker is still in jail and facing charges of sexual battery, false imprisonment, burglary, and kidnapping from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Watch the chilling video below:
Looking back on the horrific experience, Alma had the following to say:
“As soon as he was approaching me, I pushed him,” Alma said.
“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.”
Alma’s bravery inspired the sheriff in charge and believes her story will impact other women in the future.
“I was disgusted by the suspect’s actions, how he preyed on this young woman,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister in the video. “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.”
Bodybuilder Nashali Alma has competed at a handful of contests over the past few years. Her last performance came at the 2022 NPC USA Southern Championships where she took first place in the Wellness category.
Sometimes, women aren’t as lucky as Alma was. Back in November 2021, TikToker Jessi Balter was allegedly stalked and assaulted by a man from LA Fitness after he followed her home from the gym. LA Fitness condemned the man’s actions and implemented special classes to help gym workers identify dangerous situations.
Like Jessi Balter, Nashali Alma hopes her terrifying video encourages women to adopt safer practices when out alone. Her story is a stark reminder of why self-defense lessons can make a life-saving difference in these types of situations.