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Florida girl thwarts kidnapper with help from Law & Order SVU

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Liz Braun A knife-wielding man runs towards a girl Tuesday morning in Pensacola, Fla.A knife-wielding man runs towards a girl Tuesday morning in Pensacola, Fla. Photo by Screengrab /Escambia County Sheriff’s Office

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A quick-thinking 11-year-old in Florida escaped her kidnapper — and even thought to leave evidence that would help police identify him.

Alyssa Bonal was waiting for her school bus in West Pensacola Tuesday when a man jumped out of a vehicle, knife in hand, and attempted to abduct her.

She fought back.

The young woman struggled enough that the would-be kidnapper fell to the ground himself, then fled back to his car.

The girl ran off in the other direction and got help from a neighbour.

Alyssa had been playing with Blue Slime while waiting for the bus and had the presence of mind to smear some on the arms of her alleged attacker.

The adolescent credits regular watching of Law & Order: SVU with her mother for her fast thinking. Her mother, Amber Bonal, 30, told the Pensacola News Journal the two have probably watched every episode of the show.

“She said, ‘Mom, I had to leave some sort of evidence behind, like on Law & Order: SVU.’ She’s a smart cookie, she thinks on her toes. She got that slime everywhere.”

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  <p> This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. </p>      <h2>Article content</h2>     <p>We apologize, but this video has failed to load.</p>    <iframe frameborder="0" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/IBTVTDBRwQs?embed_config={'relatedChannels': [],'autonav':true}&autoplay=0&playsinline=1&enablejsapi=1" width="480"> </iframe>  <p>The blue dye did indeed help police find suspect Jared Paul Stanga, 30, who was arrested later Tuesday for the attempted kidnapping.</p> <p>Stanga had at his home a white Dodge Journey like the one seen in neighbourhood surveillance video of the attack on the the girl. The car’s license plate was allegedly a match.</p> <p>And Stanga allegedly had blue dye on his arms.</p> <p>He has been charged with attempted kidnapping, aggravated assault and battery. His bond was set at $1.5 million.</p> <p>Alyssa’s courage was rewarded with a post <a href="https://www.instagram.com/therealmariskahargitay/">on Instagram</a> from the star of Law & Order: SVU, Mariska Hargitay. The actor wrote how relieved she was that Alyssa was safe.</p> <p>“And I am so honored to be part of your incredible story. You are one BRAVE, Strong and Smart young woman. I think the SVU squad might have to add slime to their crimefighting gear! Take good care of yourself and each other. With all my love, your number one fan, Mariska.”</p>   <h2>Advertisement</h2>      <p> This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. </p>      <h2>Article content</h2> <p>On the morning of the attempted kidnapping, surveillance video shows a white SUV driving by Alyssa once before circling back within a minute. The driver then parked the vehicle and ran out to try to grab her.</p> <p>Someone in a white vehicle also approached Alyssa a month ago — an incident she reported to her mother and teacher at the time.</p> <p>A few days before the attempted kidnapping, Alyssa’s mother had spoken to her and a young neighbour about what to do if anyone ever tried to grab them. She told the girls to kick, scream, bite and yell.</p> <p> “I don’t care if they have a knife or a gun,” Amber told them. “You get away and you find the first open door, and she said that that was what was going through her head when the man grabbed her.”</p>   <h2>Advertisement</h2>      <p> This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. </p>      <h2>Article content</h2> <p>Alyssa, who is on the honour roll at West Pensacola Elementary, told the <a href="https://www.today.com/news/how-watching-svu-helped-11-year-old-identify-suspected-kidnapper-t219008">Today Show</a> on Thursday that she felt proud of herself for her quick thinking.</p> <p>Her mother described her as an amazing little girl.</p> <p>“She has always been very mature and very smart,” Bonal said.</p>   <h2>Share this article in your social network</h2>       <h2>Advertisement</h2>      <p> This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. </p>        <img alt="The Toronto Sun Headline News logo" height="80" src="https://dcs-static.prod.postmedia.digital/6.6.3/websites/images/newsletters/logo/newsletter-envelope.svg" width="97" />  <p>Sign up to receive daily headline news from the Toronto SUN, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.</p>    By clicking on the sign up button you consent to receive the above newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. You may unsubscribe any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails. Postmedia Network Inc. | 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4 | 416-383-2300    <h3>Thanks for signing up!</h3> <p>A welcome email is on its way. If you don't see it, please check your junk folder.</p> <p>The next issue of The Toronto Sun Headline News will soon be in your inbox.</p>  <p> We encountered an issue signing you up. Please try again </p>     <h3>Comments</h3> <p> Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our <a href="https://pages.postmedia.com/community-guidelines/">Community Guidelines</a> for more information and details on how to adjust your <a href="https://pages.postmedia.com/community-guidelines/#FAQ8">email</a> settings. </p>

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