ComplexCon returns to Long Beach Nov. 6 - 7 with hosts J. Balvin and Kristen Noel Crawley, performances by A$AP Rocky and Turnstile, and more shopping and drops.
Secure your spot while tickets last!
UPDATED 5/20, 9:40 p.m. ET: Mariska Hargitay, who plays Cpt. Olivia Benson on Law & Order: SVU, has praised Alyssa as “one brave, strong, and smart young woman.”
The actress made the comments via Instagram on Thursday, shortly after Alyssa’s appearance on the Today show, where she explained how SVU helped her escape an attempted kidnapping.
“Alyssa, first and most important, I am so relieved and grateful to know that you are safe,” Hargitay wrote. “And I am so honored to be part of your incredible story. 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.”
UPDATED 5/20, 9:40 a.m. ET: After a video showed an 11-year-old Florida girl named Alyssa fighting off a kidnapping attempt, she sat down with NBC’s Today to speak about her experience.
When 30-year-old Jared Paul Stanga attempted to abduct Alyssa earlier this week, she said she immediately thought to smear the “slime” that she was playing with on his arm. The idea was that it would make it easier for police to locate the man.
“I knew that might be better evidence if the cops do find him,” she said. As for what inspired her, she said watching Law and Order: Special Victims Unit with her mother helped.
“The man got out of his vehicle holding a knife, came towards me, and I tried to run but he caught me,” she added. In the now viral surveillance video of the attempted kidnapping, Jared Paul Stanga could be seen picking up Alyssa for a few moments, before she was able to fight free. He proceeded to run off.
While it’s undoubtedly a scary experience for any 11-year-old to go through, Alyssa said she’s “brave and proud of myself, but mostly proud of myself.”
See original story below.
30-year-old Jared Paul Stanga was charged with attempted kidnapping of a child under 13, aggravated assault, and battery, after he tried to abduct the 11-year-old girl on Tuesday, an incident that was caught by a surveillance camera.
The girl was standing at the bus stop when Stanga is seen approaching her with a knife. He grabs the girl and tries to pull her into his white Dodge Journey, but she successfully frees herself by putting up a struggle.
“She went limp. She’s kicking, she’s pushing, she’s punching, and she’s able to get free,” Escambia County Sheriff Chip W. Simmons told the Pensacola News Journal. After freeing herself, the girl ran home.
According to jail records, Stanga’s home address is less than 10 minutes from the girl’s bus stop. The victim reported that he had been watching her for multiple weeks and made her uncomfortable by talking to her at the bus stop. This prompted her mother to wait with her at the bus stop, but Stanga chose the one day her mother couldn’t make it to attack her. Stanga reportedly has prior sexual abuse offenses, and is being held without bond at the Escambia County jail.
Sheriff Simmons applauded the girl for being a fighter but also wanted to stress how close this incident was to becoming very dangerous.
“We’re very fortunate that she’s a fighter … and we’re not out there today looking for a missing little girl,” he said. “It’s important to emphasize how horrible this could have been.”