The newly released video showed a woman struggling with a man who attacked her inside her apartment complex in Tampa, Florida last month.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said Nashali Alma, 24, was exercising alone at a gym before letting the suspect, identified as Xavier Thomas-Jones, 25, inside on Jan. 22. according to the authorities.
As Alma continued her workout, footage – which was released this week – showed Thomas-Jones in a Detroit Red Wings jersey approaching her and trying to grab her waist. She screamed and demanded that he get away from her, but he continued to chase her.
At one point, Thomas-Jones was seen grabbing Alma as she smacked him in the head and pinned her to the ground, the video showed. He finally let her go and she immediately ran out of the gym. She contacted authorities and officers were able to track down Thomas-Jones and arrest him in less than 24 hours, according to the sheriff’s office.
on criminal testimony obtained by CBS Miami, Thomas-Jones had a similar incident the day after the gym attack. Authorities said Thomas-Jones knocked on the door of a different woman after allegedly watching her for several minutes on her porch. He took several steps into her apartment but was chased by the woman’s fiancé, officers said.
Thomas-Jones faces charges of sexual assault, false imprisonment and kidnapping, officials said.
The sheriff’s office featured Alma in a video, where she encouraged other women who have experienced similar incidents to come forward.
“My advice would be to never give up,” she said. “My parents always told me through life never to give up on anything, and that’s something I always kept in mind while fighting him.”
Alma said she watched as authorities arrested Thomas-Jones.
“The day they got him, I saw it all fall apart,” she said. “It was a relief to know that someone like him was arrested and probably won’t be out anytime soon. It’s an incredible feeling. No one else should have to go through this.”