Florida Woman Fights Off Attacker In Empty Gym: ‘Never Give Up
A 24-year-old woman in Tampa, Florida, was recently attacked at the gym, and the troubling ordeal was all caught on camera.
She Got Her Attacker To Give Up: ‘Keep Fighting’
The ordeal went down back on Jan. 22, and it took place as Nashali Alma was completing a workout at her apartment complex’s gym.
While exercising in the empty facility, a man approached the door and attempted to get in. Nashali then proceeded to open the door, as she had seen him around the gym before, ABC Action News reports.
“Usually, people forget their key tags and fobs. We do let them in, so I let the gentleman in. I didn’t think twice about letting him in. I was in the middle of my workout.”
However, after she got back to her set, the man approached and attempted to grab Nashali. In response, she attempted to get away, and—after he got ahold of her—she fought back with all her might.
“After we were on the ground wrestling for a little bit I went ahead and pulled his beard hair. I started twisting, twisted, twisted. I could see from his face that it hurt really bad.”
Nashali was noted that she was unable to contact law enforcement during the struggle, though she was able to tire him out thanks to her relentless efforts. As a result, he ultimately gave up.
“I would tell every woman always to keep fighting, never give up. 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.”
A woman shares her experience after fighting off a man who physically assaulted her in her apartment complex’s gym.
Nashali Alma wanted to speak out about her experience to encourage other women who’ve dealt with similar incidents to speak out. pic.twitter.com/hyTeO3quRA
— HCSO (@HCSOSheriff) February 15, 2023
The Suspect Was Tracked Down & Arrested The Next Day
On Jan. 23, the suspect—identified as Xavier Thomas-Jones—was taken into custody after entering another woman’s home and asking to “hang out.”
However, he was chased away by the woman’s partner. Upon being taken into custody, Xavier reportedly admitted to wanting to have sexual relations with both of the women he accosted.
𝘼𝙧𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙙: Xavier Thomas-Jones, age 25, facing charges for sexual battery, kidnapping, and false imprisonment. pic.twitter.com/HTIv9NS1iU
— Chad Chronister (@ChadChronister) February 15, 2023
The Video Emerged Amid Polarizing Discourse About ‘Gym Creeps’
We should note that this video began circulating in the aftermath of various women taking to the internet to share “gym creep” videos—which are clips that highlight men supposedly checking them out during their workout.
In the face of these videos, many men—including content creator Joey Swoll—hopped online to push back against the narrative.
Women are harassed in gyms and it needs to stop, but you are not one of them. An act of kindness or a glance does not make you a victim. pic.twitter.com/34g9265KXb
— Joey Swoll (@TheJoeySwoll) January 21, 2023
I think we can all agree @Jessicafrndz changed the world. #gym #gymgirls #feral #gymcreep pic.twitter.com/q6qa1feKzt
— Frank Diaz (@TheFrankDiaz) February 15, 2023
You never know someone’s story or what they’re going through. Stop this. Be kind. pic.twitter.com/udkDQ1kZ8l
— Joey Swoll (@TheJoeySwoll) February 3, 2023
— Simon (@Honest_Sy1) February 15, 2023
As a result, people are calling for previous detractors to take note of the situation in Tampa, as it highlights the exact situation that many gym-going women fear.
where’s that joey swoll guy now? oh ok https://t.co/V4EkWpjFxJ
— (zee-or-uh)🍒 (@stillnotziora) February 16, 2023
and this is why the collective mass hysteria about women feeling uncomfortable around men at the gym is bullshit.
men’s fear of being called a creep is not equal to our fear of sexual violence. https://t.co/uKjgRv7txc
— bri (@spicedrumcake) February 16, 2023
now all of a sudden everyone finally believes this happens when 2 weeks ago y’all were harrassing women on tiktok for being weary of men at the gym https://t.co/3lC57CQo0d
— chi | slightly ia cuz of exams 🏾 (@heavxensentchi) February 16, 2023
What do you think about the overall situation?