Girl Who Fought Off Kidnapping Gets Big Surprise From Star

Mariska Hargitay showed up for remote chat with Alyssa Bonal on 'Today': 'You're amazing'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2021 11:54 AM CDT
Law & Order Actor Surprises Girl Who Fought Off Kidnap Attempt
In this image from video, Mariska Hargitay speaks during the Democratic National Convention on Aug. 19, 2020.   (Democratic National Convention via AP)

The awe-inspiring story of a Florida girl who fought off an attempted abduction just saw yet another happy ending. Alyssa Bonal, 11, who's been making the media rounds since a man tried to kidnap her Tuesday from her bus stop in Pensacola, has impressed the public with her quick thinking: She revealed she was inspired by the TV show Law & Order: Special Victims Unit to leave some kind of evidence as the suspect tried to abduct her, so she smeared the homemade blue "slime" she was playing with at the bus stop on him. Alyssa's actions also caught the notice of Mariska Hargitay, one of the lead actors on the show, spurring an Instagram message from Hargitay to Alyssa on Thursday. On Friday, Hargitay had yet another surprise for the tween. The 57-year-old actor showed up via a remote feed to chat with Alyssa on the Today show.

"I'm so incredibly honored to meet you," Hargitay told the girl, noting that she and other members of her team have been "blown away" by Alyssa's story. "You're amazing, sweetheart," Hargitay added. "You're amazing. And strong and brave." The actor also displayed a signed script she will get to Alyssa, on which she wrote, "You are my hero." The feelings were likewise for Alyssa, who couldn't believe she was meeting Hargitay. "It's amazing to meet you," she told the star. "I never thought in my whole entire life that I was gonna be able to even meet you." Hargitay's response, per Yahoo Entertainment: "I feel the same way." Meanwhile, Jared Paul Stanga, the man accused of trying to abduct Alyssa, has been charged with attempted kidnapping, assault, and battery. (More uplifting news stories.)

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