A sicko who tried to kidnap a young girl has been arrested after the quick-thinking youngster used a tip from one of her favourite TV shows to make it easier for cops to spot him.
Schoolgirl Alyssa Bonal was waiting at a bus stop in West Pensacola, Florida, on Tuesday morning.
CCYV footage shows the shocking moment when a man, now believed by police to be Jared Stanga, 30, pulled up and tried to bundle Alyssa into his truck.
The 11-year-old was terrified as the knife-wielding assailant tried to grab her.
She told local news station WKRG she was thinking “What is he going to do with me? Where is he going to?” and “where am I going to be at? What is my family going to think?” as the man tried to abduct her.
But despite that, Alyssa still had her wits about her.
Alyssa had been playing with a blue slime toy when the incident occurred, and she had the presence of mind to smear the substance all over her attacker..
“He had a knife in his hand. I tried running off but he grabbed me. He took me with his arm and I was able to get him down to the ground and I was able to get away,” Alyssa said.
The blue slime ended up playing a pivotal role in Stanga’s arrest. He reportedly had blue slime all over his arms when he was apprehended.
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Alyssa’s mum Amber told the Pensacola News Journal that Alyssa ran straight home after the attack.
“Her first words were, ‘Somebody tried to kidnap me. He grabbed me by my throat and he had a knife.’ She said she was able to kick and she tripped him and freed herself,” she recalled.
“She said, ‘Mom, I had to leave some sort of evidence behind, like on Law & Order SVU.’”
Amber said the show was a family favourite: “We’ve watched probably every episode on Hulu. She’s a smart cookie, she thinks on her toes. She got that slime everywhere.”
Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons told a press conference on Tuesday that Alyssa is his “hero.”
“My message to her is that she’s my hero,” he said.
“My message is that she did not give up. She did the right thing. She fought, and she fought, and she fought, and she never gave up.”
“It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what [the suspect’s] intentions were, but they were not good,” Sheriff Simmons added. “So a life was saved.”
Sheriff Simmons said Stanga had a white Dodge Journey at his home resembling the one seen on surveillance video used in the attack and the vehicle's plate could be seen on the CCTV.
Simmons said the suspect had tried to cover the front chrome bumper with black paint by the time police arrived.
Stanga was arrested late on Tuesday and booked into the Escambia County Jail.
He currently faces three charges: attempted kidnapping of a child under 13, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, and battery. His bond has been set at $1,505,000.
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