Terrifying video shows the man chasing the child with a knife.
A man has been arrested in Florida after police released a terrifying video of an abduction attempt on an 11-year-old girl.
The attack happened at 7 AM on Tuesday morning, as the little girl was waiting at a bus stop at Old Corry Field Road and Perdido Street.
A home surveillance camera across the street captured the entire episode; it showed the girl, sitting in the grass, playing.
A white SUV drives past her; the girl looks up and watches it drive by, before returning to the blue slime toy she was playing with.
But less than one minute later, the vehicle returns — and the driver jumps out and sprints straight at the girl, knife in hand. She tries to flee, but he is too fast.
He grabs her around the neck and begins hauling the terrified child back towards his car, but she struggles and squirms, causing him to fall and release her. Spooked, he flees back to his car empty-handed and speeds off, while the little girl runs in the opposite direction to raise the alarm.
At a press conference on Tuesday, a very relieved Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons announced they had their suspect: 30-year-old Jared Paul Stanga.
“We are here to announce we caught the animal who tried to kidnap an 11-year-old girl this morning,” Sheriff Simmons announced.
“He grabbed her, picked her up, and tried to carry her into that van,” he said, praising the little girl’s bravery. “She fought, and she fought, and she fought, until finally she was able to break free from her would-be captor.”
Among the list of evidence they were compiling, Sheriff Simmons said the suspect’s arm was covered in a blue slimy substance when he was apprehended, matching the toy the child had been playing with.
While the black bumper on his vehicle didn’t match the chrome one seen in the video, the Sheriff said there was very obvious evidence it had just been freshly painted.
He was arrested and charged with attempted kidnapping of a child under 13, aggravated assault and battery.
According to the Sheriff, Stanga has “an extensive criminal history, including but not limited to, sexual offenses with a child.”
More disconcerting still, the girl said that two weeks ago, the same white car approached her and the driver tried to speak with her; she reported that incident to her parents and school principal.
“I’m very proud of the efforts of Escambia County Sheriff’s Office,” he said, “but I cannot help to think this could have ended very differently had this 11-year-old victim not thought to fight, and to fight, and to just never give up. This could’ve ended terribly.”
“It doesn’t take a genius to work out what his intentions were. But they were not good.”
The Sheriff insisted: “He will never be free to do this again.”
The little girl meanwhile, he said was doing okay, with some scratches, and some mental trauma.
“My message to her is that she is my hero,” he added.