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30-year-old man charged for trying to kidnap girl at Escambia County bus stop

Jared Stanga
30-year-old man charged for trying to kidnap girl at Escambia County bus stop
Posted at 8:59 AM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 13:54:32-04

ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — A 30-year-old man is charged for trying to kidnap an 11-year-old girl Tuesday morning at an Escambia County bus stop.

Hours after a news conference Thursday night, Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons released the name and photo of the suspect. Jared Stanga has been arrested and charged with attempted kidnapping of a child under 13, aggravated assault and battery.

Sheriff Simmons says Stanga has a past criminal history, including sexual offenses with a child. He's being held in Escambia County Jail without bond.

"This animal is off the street," Simmons said. "We can once again applaud the efforts and resilience of that 11-year-old girl."

Sheriff Simmons said investigators eventually tracked the man to a home in the 200-block of Betty Rd. in Escambia County.

At the home, deputies located the vehicle that was involved in the incident. Sheriff Simmons said it was freshly painted.

Deputies took Stanga into custody without incident around 5 p.m. Sheriff Simmons said he had blue slime on his arm -- which the girl had been playing with at the time of the attack.

Sheriff Simmons said about 50 deputies were working the area trying to identify and locate the man. They obtained surveillance video of the man at several convenience stores prior to the attempted kidnapping.

The incident -- which was all caught on surveillance video -- happened around 7 a.m. at the bus stop located on Old Corry Field Road and Perdido Street.


As the girl was waiting alone at the bus stop, videos show a man pull up in a white Dodge Journey. He then gets out, runs and grabs the girl before trying to carry her into his car. However, the girl was able to fight off the man, who reportedly had a knife. The girl ran home from the scene and the man drove off.

The girl described the man as a Hispanic male in his 30s or 40s. She says the same man approached her at the bus stop about two weeks ago.

The girl's mother said prior to Tuesday, she walked her daughter to the bus stop every day following the first encounter.

The girl, who lives about one block from the bus stop, is safe with her parents.