Woman who fought off attacker at gym awarded for her 'strength and courage' by police
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A woman has been awarded for her 'bravery and courage' after she fought off a man who attacked her in the gym of her apartment building.
Nashali Alma, 24, was working out when she was targeted by the man, who she initially assumed was there for the same reason as her, but he soon approached her and attacked.
Recounting the incident to TMZ Live, Alma said: "I was there alone, working out. I was in the middle of my set and I hear a knock on the door, and some people do forget their key fobs, and so I just let him in and I didn't really pay too much attention. I just went back to finish up my workout.
"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'," she said, recounting the terrifying incident.
The whole thing was caught on CCTV and shows Alma fighting with the man as he attempts to overpower her in the gym.
"For the first half of the encounter he didn't say a single word to me, it was just me talking like, 'What are you doing bro? Get the f- away from me'.
"He wasn't exchanging any words until we reached the other side of the gym where I was trying to call 911 and he said, 'Don't do that. Don't call nobody'.
"That's when he grabbed me and we started going at it."
Thankfully, he wasn't successful in his attack, and she was able to fight back - an act which has been commended by police.
In fact, Alma has now been given an award for her bravery - specifically the 'Strength and Courage Award' for the sheer grit it took to fight off her assailant for over eight minutes.
Sheriff Chad Chronister said he was 'disgusted' by what happened in the gym.
"I was disgusted by the suspect's actions, how he preyed on this young woman. This woman's strength, courage, and determination are inspiring," he said.
He added: "I know her story is going to be an inspiration to other women."
Following Alma's decision to bravely report her attacker, Xavier Thomas-Jones, 25, was arrested, and he is facing charges of sexual battery, false imprisonment and kidnapping.
While this incident might be enough to put many people off going to the gym, Alma said she is undeterred and has continued to keep up with her fitness as if nothing had happened.
"I'm actually feeling really good," she said. "The last two days I've woken up to a lot of people just being so supportive, showing a lot of love - it feels great."
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