Helena, Ala. (WIAT) – An attempted kidnapping in Pensacola, Fla., Tuesday morning has gone viral.
The surveillance video shows 11-year-old Alyssa Bonal fighting off 30-year-old Jaren Paul Stanga, who was trying to get Bonal inside his white SUV. She was able to fight him off successfully and Stanga was arrested later in the day.
The video has both parents and law enforcement on edge. Helena Police Chief Brad Flynn says this can happen anywhere.
“And even with a situation like that in broad daylight, out in the open, it could happen,” Flynn said.
“As a parent and as a police chief I was absolutely horrified,” Flynn said.
Bonal told reporters Wednesday she was scared and anxious when it all happened.
“I did not know what he was going to do with me at all,” Bonal said.
Chief Flynn says children need to be educated on these situations in order to protect themselves. He says kids should do everything in their power to fight an abductor off.
“You want to fight. You want to kick. You want to scream. You want to draw as much attention as possible,” Flynn said.
He says children should do everything they can to stay within eyesight of an adult, but realizes that’s not always possible. He urges parents to tell their children if they are in a situation like this, contact police quickly.
“But as long as they know what to do, should something like that occur, or something that doesn’t look right, obviously to call 911 and let us come out and check it,” Flynn said.
He believes parents having this conversation with their children can save lives.
“It might not be the most comfortable conversation to have, but their life could depend on it,” Flynn said.
Chief Flynn says the department wants to start having courses for children and parents on abduction situations. With everything slowly opening up, he hopes that can happen soon.