Brave 11-Year-Old Girl Fights Off Abductor In An Attempted Kidnapping Caught On Camera

Photo: Fox 13 Tampa Bay
Escambia County Florida Attempted Kidnapping

Every parent’s worst nightmare was caught on camera Tuesday morning in Escambia County, Florida when a man was seen attempting to abduct an 11-year-old girl in broad daylight.

A video capturing the crime was shared by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office in Florida.

How did an 11-year-old girl fight off a grown man trying to kidnap her?

The footage shows 11-year-old Alyssa Bonal waiting for the bus. According to police, she was playing with blue slime to pass the time.

A few cars drive by, but one circles back — a white Dodge Journey.

The truck stops and parks near where the child is sitting on her knees waiting for the bus. A man runs out of the vehicle wielding a knife.

The girl sees him, picks up her backpack, and tries to run away. But he catches her.

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He grabs the girl, holding her by her neck and torso, and attempts to carry her to his car. But she fights back and evades her kidnapper by punching, kicking, and squirming out of his grasp.

They both fall to the ground and she gets free. She then grabs her backpack and runs to safety while the man races back to his car.

The police shared the video at 7 a.m. and a short time later they identified the man as 30-year-old Jared Paul Stanga.

“I cannot help to think that this could have ended very differently,” Sheriff Chip Simmons said at a news conference Tuesday evening. “Had this 11-year-old victim not thought to fight and to fight and to just never give up, then this could have ended terribly.”

This wasn’t the first time Stanga had contacted the girl. Two weeks earlier he approached her at the same bus stop and spoke to her in Spanish.

He made her uncomfortable and she reported the incident to her teacher, her principal, and her mother.

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Her mother accompanied her to the bus stop every day for two weeks after the incident. This was the first day she didn’t, raising suspicions that Stanga had been stalking the girl.

“We believe that this person has either been watching her specifically or was walking around, looking for an opportunity. Either way, it’s bad,” Simmons said.

After the video was shared, police began knocking on doors in the area and questioning people with white SUVs.

They later identified Stanga in grocery store security footage with his arms and clothes covered in blue slime. He was arrested in his home in Pensacola.

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Stanga has an extensive criminal record, including sexual offenses with a child.

Sherrif Simmons said, “It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what his intentions were, but they were not good. So a life was saved.”

He even called the girl his hero.

She sustained a few scrapes and some mental trauma but otherwise, the brave girl is fine.

She and her mother are working through this together.

Stanga faces charges that include attempted kidnapping, aggravated assault, and battery. He is currently being held in Escambia County Jail without bond.

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Leeann Reed is a writer who covers news, pop culture, and love, and relationship topics.