Armed Man Tries to Kidnap 11-Year-Old Girl at a Bus Stop in Florida, Suspect Arrested
A man tried to kidnap an 11-year-old girl while wielding a knife at a bus stop in Escambia, Florida. The suspect has since been arrested.
On Tuesday, May 18th, 2021, a man attempted to kidnap an 11-year-old girl while waiting for the school bus in Escambia, Florida. The suspect approached the young child with a knife.
The Escambia County Sheriff's office shared camera footage of the incident on Facebook. The young girl is sitting on a grassy patch in the video while she waits for the bus.
A white Dodge journey car circle's the area before stopping. A Hispanic male then exits the car, reportedly with a knife, and runs towards the girl and grabs her.
The footage shows that the young girl put up a fight, and the man then dropped her. She then runs home to her parents. Chip Simmons, the Escambia Sheriff, said of the girl's brave actions:
"We're very fortunate that she's a fighter. We're very fortunate that her family has her home today and we're not looking for a missing little girl."
A few hours after the Sheriff's office's first Facebook post, they released a photo of a man named Jared Paul Stanga, who was arrested and charged in connection to the attempted kidnapping.
Officers worked quickly to find the suspect. The Sheriff explained that they searched for surveillance footage, tracked down witnesses, and 50 detectives searched through the area.
He had previously been charged with a sexual offense against a child.
The investigators were led to Stanga's house, where they found him in the same clothes he is pictured in the video footage. Stanga had also attempted to paint his car's bumper from silver to black.
The officers found blue slime in the armpits of Stanga's shirt. The young girl had been playing with blue slime at the time of the incident. Simmons was shocked that this could happen in the county and said:
"Our concern is this wasn't his first try."
Authorities in Florida have a suspect in custody after an alleged attempted kidnapping that was captured in a "chilling" video, officials said. https://t.co/CvzVQF1gXw— ABC News (@ABC) May 19, 2021
Two weeks earlier, Stanga had approached the girl and spoke to her in Spanish. She had felt uncomfortable by the situation and told her teacher and principal, who then informed her parents.
Her mother started walking her child to the bus stop each morning. Tuesday was the first time her mother did not accompany her. Therefore police believe Stanga was watching the young girl.
According to police, Stanga has a long criminal history. He had previously been charged with a sexual offense against a child. He is being charged with the attempted kidnapping of a child under 13, aggravated assault, and battery.
Earlier this year, a man tried to kidnap an eight-year-old boy, who was with his mother at a subway station in New York. The mother held onto her son, and the man left the scene after a crowd started to form.