Florida Attempted Kidnapping Video Shows Man Snatching 11-Year-Old Girl

Florida police have arrested a 30-year-old man for allegedly trying to kidnap an 11-year-old girl who was waiting at a bus stop in Pensacola on Tuesday morning.

A video of the incident shared by Escambia County Sheriff's Office on Facebook shows a man stopping a white Dodge Journey close to where the girl was sitting on a patch of grass on Old Corry Field Road and Perdido Street at around 7 a.m.

The surveillance video then showed the man exiting his car "reportedly armed with a knife," according to the sheriff's office, and grabbing the girl. A struggle ensued and the child managed to escape when the pair fell over onto the grass. The man then ran back to his car and drove away.

"She was able to fight and break free from the suspect's grip. She is safe and with family," the post read.

A 30-year-old man, Jared Paul Stanga, was later charged with attempted kidnapping of a child under 13, aggravated assault and battery.

At a press conference, Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons said: "We can once again applaud the efforts and resilience of that 11-year-old girl."

Simmons added that around 50 deputies had been deployed to help identify and locate the man in the video and his vehicle.

Investigators eventually arrived at a property on the 200 block of Betty Road in Escambia County, where Stanga was found wearing clothes that matched those of the man in the video.

Stanga was taken into custody without incident around 5 p.m. on Tuesday. The sheriff said the suspect had been found with blue slime on his arms and the child had been playing with "blue goop" at the bus stop. Simmons added that Stanga had an "extensive" criminal history.

After Stanga had been taken into custody, Simmons said officers had spotted that the 30-year-old's vehicle had just been partially repainted.

"We got the information out so quickly that… our suspect tried to paint his car," Simmons said.

According to the sheriff, two weeks earlier, the girl had been approached at the bus stop by a man in a white vehicle, believed to be the suspect. She alerted her parents and teachers.

Since that incident, the child's mother said she had walked her daughter to the bus stop every day until Tuesday, reported Pensacola's WEAR-TV.

The sheriff said the girl "did the right thing—she fought and she fought and she fought and she never gave up. And then she went straight to her parents, which she should have done, told her parents what was going on, who in turn contacted the Escambia County Sheriff's Office."

Anyone with more information about the incident on Tuesday is asked to contact Escambia County Sheriff's Office at 850-436-9620 or Crime Stoppers at 850-433-STOP.

A bus stop in Miami Beach, Florida
File photo of a bus stop on Collins Avenue in Miami Beach, Florida, seen in August 2019. Police in Florida have arrested a man over the alleged attempted kidnapping of an 11-year-old girl waiting at a bus stop in Pensacola. Eva Marie Uzcategui/ AFP via Getty Images