The 11-year-old Florida girl who fought back during an attempted kidnapping earlier this week said she smeared some of the blue “slime” she was playing with on the man so police could more easily locate the suspect.
Her plan worked.
“I was able to get the slime onto his upper arm and a little bit on his lower arm,” Alyssa told NBC’s “TODAY” in an interview that aired Thursday.
“I knew that that might be better evidence if the cops do find him,” Alyssa said, adding that her fast thinking was inspired by watching “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” with her mom.
She had been mixing the homemade “slime” with blue paint while waiting for the bus near her Escambia County home Tuesday morning when the man pulled up in a white car and ran toward her.
“The man got out of his vehicle holding a knife, came towards me and I tried to run but he caught me,” Alyssa said.
Home surveillance video of the attempted kidnapping that helped lead police to the suspect’s home shows the man tried to carry Alyssa to his car before stumbling and running off without her.
“She fought, and she never gave up,” Sheriff Chip Simmons said later at a news conference.
Alyssa told authorities the same white car approached her two weeks ago and the driver tried to speak to her. She reported that incident to her parents and school principal. A sheriff’s department spokeswoman told NBC News on Thursday that investigators don’t believe the suspect had any connection to Alyssa or her family.
Now, she said she feels “brave, proud — excited, too. Brave and proud of myself, but mostly proud of myself.”
She said “SVU” lead character Olivia Benson would also be proud. She would say “probably, ‘You’re brave, and good job,'” Alyssa said.
“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,” she wrote.
The suspect, Jared Paul Stanga, 30, is charged with attempted kidnapping of a child and aggravated assault and battery and is being held on $1,505,000 bond. The sheriff’s department is investigating whether he has ever faced similar charges.
Stanga’s lawyer declined to comment.
Alyssa’s mom, Amber Bonal, said her courageous daughter has “always been very mature and very smart.”
“She’s very modest about it,” Bonal said. “She’s not used to all this extra attention.”