Header Ads

Moment girl, 11, fights off knife-wielding Florida 'sex offender' who tried to abduct her: Suspect, 30, is arrested hours later

 This is the moment an 11-year-old Florida girl fought off a knife-wielding pedophile who had leapt from his van to try to abduct her.

Surveillance footage captures the suspect pull up in a white Dodge Journey beside a bus stop on Old Corry Field Road and Perdido Street, West Pensacola, where the girl is playing with a 'blue slime' toy on her own around 7am on Tuesday.

As the man - later identified by sheriffs as Jared Paul Stanga - runs towards her with knife in hand, the girl gets to her feet and tries to escape, the Pensacola News Journal reported.

The burley suspect, who officials described as a convicted sex offender, grabs her in a headlock and begins dragging her toward the van, which still has its engine running.


But as she fights and struggles to escape his clutches, he stumbles to the ground and she is able to pry herself free.

The suspect runs back to the car and drives away. 

Within minutes, more than 50 deputies from Escambia County Sheriff's office flooded the area hunting for the sex offender, and local media put out a description of him and his vehicle.

He tried to disguise the van by painting it a different color, but when sheriffs caught up with him eight hours later he still had 'blue slime' on his clothes from trying to abduct the child.

Sheriffs said Stanga, 30, was arrested on Tuesday evening and charged with attempted kidnapping of a child under 13, aggravated assault and battery.  


The suspect - later identified by Jared Paul Stanga, 30 - pulls up alongside the girl at a bus stop on the corner of Old Corry Field Rd and Perdido St, West Pensacola

The suspect - later identified by Jared Paul Stanga, 30 - pulls up alongside the girl at a bus stop on the corner of Old Corry Field Rd and Perdido St, West Pensacola

The suspect, with knife in hand, runs towards the girl as she plays with a 'blue slime' toy

The suspect, with knife in hand, runs towards the girl as she plays with a 'blue slime' toy 

He puts her in a headlock and attempts to drag her back to his waiting vehicle

He puts her in a headlock and attempts to drag her back to his waiting vehicle

But the girl 'fights and fights' the man, he stumbles on the grassy median

But the girl 'fights and fights' the man, he stumbles on the grassy median

She escapes his clutches and flees, while he rushes back to his vehicle

She escapes his clutches and flees, while he rushes back to his vehicle

Sheriff Chip Simmons paid tribute to the bravery of the young girl at a press conference on Tuesday night.

'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,' Simmons said. 

Simmons said she had been left traumatized and with some scratches.   

Stanga has an 'extensive' criminal past that includes child sex abuse charges, according to Simmons. 

He had approached his target two weeks ago and made her feel uncomfortable, the sheriff said.

'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,' Simmons said.

'Why else do you think that this man stopped his van and tried to pick her up and take her into that van? It doesn't take a genius to figure out what his intentions were, they were not good.' 

'He will never be free to do this again,' Simmons said. 'Our concern was this wasn't his first try.'

No comments