A woman was exercising at a Florida gym when a man grabbed her and pinned her to the ground, officials said.
But the woman — a self-described bodybuilder — kept fighting back, video from the fitness center shows.
“I would tell every woman always to keep fighting, never give up,” Nashali Alma told the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies shared the footage on Feb. 15, almost a month after Alma reported the attack at a Tampa-area apartment complex. The 24-year-old said she was working out alone on Jan. 22 when she saw a gym patron she recognized and let him inside.
But later, the man reportedly approached her and tried to touch her. Alma told deputies she pushed the man, yelling for him to back off.
“He started chasing me around the bench, and we ended up on the other side of the gym,” Alma said in the video that the sheriff’s office posted on social media.
In that part of the gym, a camera captured the man trying to pin Alma to the floor. But she repeatedly hit the man even as he pulled her to the ground, video shows.
“When it was happening, I actually had no fear,” Alma told WTVT and WFLA. “I am a bodybuilder, and I’m actually pretty strong, so in my mind, he was kinda equal to me.”
Deputies in a news release said the man, 25, eventually let go, allowing Alma to run to safety. He was caught within 24 hours and faces charges of “sexual battery, false imprisonment, and kidnapping.”
Alma reportedly wanted to share her story to encourage others to speak out.
“I was disgusted by the suspect’s actions, how he preyed on this young woman,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said in the release. “This woman’s strength, courage, and determination are inspiring.”
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