Girl's TV show tactic helps catch suspect after foiled abduction

·News Editor
·2-min read

It sounds like an episode of Law and Order: SVU, but it was an idea from that TV show which inspired a brave 11-year-old girl to help police catch the man who attempted to abduct her.

Alyssa Bonal, 11, was at a bus stop in the US state of Florida on Tuesday (local time) when a man allegedly jumped out of a car and started running towards her.

Terrifying surveillance video released by police shows the man attempting to drag the young girl towards the car before she puts up a fight.

"The man got out of his vehicle holding a knife, came towards me and I tried to run, but he caught me," Alyssa told TODAY. 

The 11-year-old managed to fight off the man before he fled. Source: Escambia County Sheriff's Office
Alyssa Bonal, 11, managed to fight off the man before he fled. Source: Escambia County Sheriff's Office

Girl's quick-thinking act

The man fled but the girl's quick-thinking act she learned from Law and Order: SVU helped police later track down the suspect. 

Alyssa had been mixing slime with blue paint in the moments before he allegedly attempted to grab her, and she made sure to wipe it on the suspect's arm so it would later serve as an unexpected clue to identifying him.

She told TODAY she got the idea after watching the crime show with her mum.

"I knew that that might be better evidence if the cops do find him," she said.

Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons told reporters on Wednesday the girl's smart move helped them catch the alleged offender. 

"The victim at the time of the attempted abduction was playing with blue slime," he said.

"The suspect, when we caught him, had blue slime all over his own arms."

Police later arrested Jared Stanga and charged him with attempted kidnapping of a child under 13, aggravated assault and battery. 

Law and Order: SVU star praises girl

After Alyssa's story emerged, Mariska Hargitay, who plays SVU star Olivia Benson, praised the young girl in an Instagram post. 

"Alyssa, first and most important, I am so relieved and grateful to know that you are safe," she wrote.

"And I am so honoured to be part of your incredible story.

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"You are one BRAVE, strong and smart young woman. I think the SVU squad might have to add slime to their crimefighting gear."

Hargitay said she was Alyssa's number-one fan and told her followers the attempted kidnapping was "a crazy story with an even crazier twist".

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