Jared Paul Stanga's crimes: Florida man who tried to kidnap Alyssa Bonal, 11, sexually abused a child in 2007

Stanga was arrested after he allegedly tried to kidnap a girl at a bus stop while wielding a knife, but she managed to fight him off


                            Jared Paul Stanga's crimes: Florida man who tried to kidnap Alyssa Bonal, 11, sexually abused a child in 2007
Jared Paul Stanga is accused of trying to kidnap a Florida girl from a bus stop (Escambia County Sheriff's Office)

WEST PENSACOLA, FLORIDA: Jared Paul Stanga was arrested after he allegedly attempted to kidnap an 11-year-old girl at a bus stop while she was waiting for her school bus. The frightening incident that took place on Tuesday morning, May 18, was captured on video.

It shows the girl, Alyssa Bonal, fighting off the knife-wielding 30-year-old man after he got out of his white Dodge Journey at a bus stop on Old Corry Field Road and Perdido Street in Escambia County, West Pensacola. Stanga allegedly grabbed the minor and a struggle ensued. She was able to fight and break free from the man's grip. 

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This incident wasn’t the minor’s first run-in with Stanga. About two weeks before the attempted kidnapping, Stanga allegedly approached her at the same bus stop and began speaking to her in Spanish. Feeling uneasy, she reportedly walked away and informed her mother, teachers and school principal about the interaction. For two weeks, the child’s mother accompanied her to the bus stop. May 18 was the first day since that incident when her mother wasn’t there. Talking about the incident, Bonal said, “A man came out of the car. He had a knife in his hand. I tried running off but he grabbed me. He took me with his arm and I was able to get him down to the ground and I was able to get away.”

Does Jared Paul Stanga have a criminal history?

“We believe that this person has either been watching her specifically or was walking around, looking for an opportunity. Either way, it’s bad,” Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons said at a news conference on May 18. “His intent (was) to get her into his car and from that point on, we have no idea what horrors would have awaited this poor little girl.” Stanga’s extensive criminal history, including past sexual crimes against children, suggested his intention to commit a heinous crime, he said. The Sheriff’s office is also reportedly working with its partners to determine whether anything similar may have occurred before. 

A screenshot from the surveillance footage showing the incident (Escambia County Sheriff's Office)

Prosecutor Erin Ambrose said in court on Wednesday, May 19, that Stanga is a clear threat to the community. "Mr Stanga, in the bright light of day, attacked a child at a bus stop along a busy road with a knife and attempted to pull her into his car.... He's obviously a threat to this community," she said

As per reports, Stanga’s defense attorney, Robert Dees, contested that his client was the right suspect, saying the victim had been unable to select him definitively in a photo lineup. Dees also said that the minor had initially described the suspect as Hispanic — something the Sheriff’s office had also mentioned when it shared the surveillance footage in an attempt to find the suspect — while Stanga is Caucasian. 

Dees said Stanga has lived in the area for the past 14 years and is employed, so he is not a flight risk. Ambrose countered that Stanga has a 2007 child neglect conviction that she said involved sexual allegations. Ambrose, however, did not provide more details on this. She also said Stanga violated probation shortly after that. 

Stanga has been charged with attempted kidnapping of a child under 13, aggravated assault and battery. Following the hearing, Judge Kerra Smith imposed a $1M bond for the attempted kidnapping charge, $500,000 on the aggravated assault charge, and $5,000 on the battery charge. Stanga's next court date is June 10 for arraignment.

Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.