‘Never give up:’ Video shows woman fighting off man during attack at Florida gym

Woman fought attacker until he gave up, deputies say

Woman fights off attacker at Florida gym (Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.)

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. – A woman fought off a man during an attack that was captured on video (see below) at a Florida gym, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.

The sheriff’s office shared the video Wednesday on social media.

Deputies said the 24-year-old woman was working out at her apartment complex’s gym when she noticed a man at the door. She walked over to let him in and she said, “My thought process was it was just another dude coming in to work out, so I didn’t think of anything of that.”

Video shows the man approaching her and trying to grab her and the woman pushing him away.

Xavier Thomas-Jones, 25, faces charges of sexual battery, false imprisonment and kidnapping. (Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office)

“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.

The man started chasing the woman around a workout bench, the video shows, before the two ended up in another area of the gym.

The man grabbed the woman in an effort to take her to the ground, while the woman threw punches and fought him off, deputies said. At one point, she used her cellphone to hit him in the face, the video shows.

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Sheriff’s officials said the fight continued until the man gave up.

“My advice would be to never give up. My parents always told me in life to never give up on anything, and that’s one thing I always kept in my mind when I was fighting him,” she said. “As long as you don’t give up, you fight back, you show him that you are strong.”

The sheriff’s office said the man, 25-year-old Xavier Thomas-Jones, was arrested within 24 hours of the woman’s report.

He faces charges of sexual battery, false imprisonment and kidnapping.

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.