News, Culture & Society

Mariska Hargitay surprises fan Alyssa Bonal, 11…after she fought off a would-be kidnapper

On Thursday, Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay praised a young fan of her show for bravely fighting off a would-be kidnapper and sliming him with blue goo so he’d be recognizable to police.

And one day later, the actress surprised 11-year-old Alyssa Bonal with a virtual chat during an appearance on the Today Show.

Mariska said she was honored and blown away she was for her bravery.

Adding: ‘You are my hero, you’re amazing sweetheart and strong, brave and what’s important to everyone is that you’re ok.’

Heartfelt: On Thursday, Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay praised a young fan of her show for bravely fighting off a would-be kidnapper and sliming him with blue goo so he’d be recognizable to police. And one day later, the actress surprised 11-year-old Alyssa Bonal with a virtual chat during an appearance on the Today Show

The clip opens up with Today host Kerry Sanders talking about Alyssa following the ordeal and how she said she was ‘overwhelmed by the attention. 

Earlier this week Alyssa had revealed on Today that she had been inspired by Law & Order: SVU to wipe blue slime she’d been playing with on her knife-wielding assailant as he attacked her Tuesday morning as she waited for her school bus in Pensacola.

Surveillance video showed Alyssa fighting off the man – later identified as 30-year-old Jared Paul Stanga – after he jumped out of a white vehicle and put her in a headlock. 

They both fell to the ground as Stanga tried to drag Alyssa towards his van. Alyssa eventually managed to break free and her attacker fled the scene.    

Surveillance video showed Alyssa fighting off the man - later identified as 30-year-old Jared Paul Stanga - after he jumped out of a white vehicle and put her in a headlock.

Surveillance video showed Alyssa fighting off the man – later identified as 30-year-old Jared Paul Stanga – after he jumped out of a white vehicle and put her in a headlock. 

When police eventually tracked him down after a day-long manhunt, Stanga’s arms were covered in blue dye from the slime Alyssa was playing with. 

Alyssa and her mother Amber Bonal have since revealed that the young girl intentionally tried to cover him in the slime – something they say she learned from watching Law & Order SVU episodes.

‘Her first words were, ‘Somebody tried to kidnap me. He grabbed me by my throat and he had a knife.’ She said she was able to kick and she tripped him and freed herself,’ the girl’s mother told the Pensacola News Journal. 

They both fell to the ground as Stanga tried to drag Alyssa towards his van

Alyssa eventually managed to break free and her attacker fled the scene

They both fell to the ground as Stanga tried to drag Alyssa towards his van. Alyssa eventually managed to break free and her attacker fled the scene 

‘She said, ‘Mom, I had to leave some sort of evidence behind like on Law & Order SVU.’ 

Bonel added: ‘She’s a smart cookie, she thinks on her toes. She got that slime everywhere.’   

Alyssa fought off a knife-wielding man who tried to abduct her while she waited for her school bus in Pensacola on Tuesday morning. She had the presence of mind to smear blue slime she was playing with on his arms so he'd be recognizable to police

Alyssa fought off a knife-wielding man who tried to abduct her while she waited for her school bus in Pensacola on Tuesday morning. She had the presence of mind to smear blue slime she was playing with on his arms so he’d be recognizable to police

Dozens of investigators and deputies scoured the area in the hours that followed.

Escambia Sheriff Chip Simmons said deputies found video of Stanga at nearby convenience stores wearing the same dark blue shirt as the attacker and got his license plate number.

When deputies went to his house, they found that Stanga had just painted his silver car bumper black in a bid to disguise it.

They said his arms and clothes were still marked by the blue slime. 

He was charged with attempted kidnapping of a child under 13, aggravated assault and battery. 

Stanga faced court on Wednesday and his bail was set at $1.5 million. 

Stanga was arrested following an hours-long search by law enforcement.  When police eventually tracked him down, his arms were still covered in blue dye from the slime

Stanga was arrested following an hours-long search by law enforcement.  When police eventually tracked him down, his arms were still covered in blue dye from the slime

The sheriff said Stanga has an ‘extensive’ criminal past that includes child sex abuse charges.

Simmons hailed Alyssa’s bravery when he revealed at a press conference that Stanga had been arrested. 

‘She fought and she fought and she fought, until finally she was able to break free from her would-be captor,’ Simmons said. ‘My message to her is that is my hero, she did not give up.

‘I cannot help to think that this could have ended very different had this 11-year-old victim not thought to fight, and to fight, and to just never give up. This could have ended terribly.  

Alyssa's mom Amber Bonal said her daughter told her: 'I had to leave some sort of evidence behind like on Law & Order SVU', adding that the pair have watched every episode of the long-running show

Alyssa’s mom Amber Bonal said her daughter told her: ‘I had to leave some sort of evidence behind like on Law & Order SVU’, adding that the pair have watched every episode of the long-running show 

After watching Alyssa from Florida talking about her ordeal on NBC’s Today, Hargitay posted a tribute to the youngster on Instagram on Thursday.

‘Alyssa, first and most important, I am so relieved and grateful to know that you are safe. And I am so honored to be part of your incredible story,’ the actress wrote.  

‘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.’ 

From the heart: Mariska praised a young fan of her show for bravely fighting off a would-be kidnapper and sliming him with blue goo so he'd be recognizable to police

From the heart: Mariska praised a young fan of her show for bravely fighting off a would-be kidnapper and sliming him with blue goo so he’d be recognizable to police

The actress, 57, posted a tribute to 11-year-old Alyssa Bonel on Instagram after watching the youngster from Florida speak about her ordeal on NBC's Today on Thursday

The actress, 57, posted a tribute to 11-year-old Alyssa Bonel on Instagram after watching the youngster from Florida speak about her ordeal on NBC’s Today on Thursday 

Hargitay, 57, is currently starring in her record-breaking 22nd season of the Dick Wolf procedural.

She has played Detective – and now Lieutenant – Olivia Benson in New York’s Special Victims Unit since the drama’s premiere in 1999.

In 2004, she founded the Joyful Heart Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides support to people who have been sexually abused.  

Hargitay, 57, has played Detective - and now Lieutenant - Olivia Benson in New York's Special Victims Unit since the Dick Wolf drama's premiere in 1999

Hargitay, 57, has played Detective – and now Lieutenant – Olivia Benson in New York’s Special Victims Unit since the Dick Wolf drama’s premiere in 1999



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk