PENSACOLA, Fla. – An 11-year-old Florida girl who fought off a man in a brazen attempted kidnapping is sharing her experience.
Alyssa Bonal said the attack happened quickly. She described the thoughts rushing through her mind as a man with a knife tried to kidnap her.
“What is he going to do with me? Where is he going to -- where am I going to be at?” she recalled.
Law enforcement said she did exactly what she should have done by running and fighting back to get away.
Video captured the attempted kidnapping in Escambia County and shows Alyssa fighting off the man, identified as 30-year-old Jared Stanga, who’s being held in jail on more than $1 million bond.
Deputies said Stanga pulled up to the girl, who was waiting for a bus on Old Corry Field Road and Perdido Street.
“He took me with his arm and I was able to get him down to the ground and I was able to get away,” she said.
Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons said Stanga has a criminal history, including sexual offenses with a child.
“He had a knife in his hand. I tried running off, but then he got me,” Alyssa said.
Law enforcement and self-defense experts like Michael Friedman, who teaches kids how to fight off would be attackers, praised Alyssa’s escape.
Amber Bonal, Alyssa’s mother, said she is thankful for her daughter’s quick thinking.
“I want parents to be extra aware, even parents (who) watch their kids 24/7,” she said.
Before the attempted kidnapping, investigators said Alyssa was playing with blue slime. When deputies found Stanga, they said he still had blue slime on him.