An 11-year-old girl fought off a knife-wielding would-be kidnapper at her bus stop Tuesday morning — and Florida sheriffs arrested the creep shortly after.
The 30-year-old unidentified sex offender was arrested eight hours after the West Pensacola incident was caught on camera, Escambia County Sheriffs said at a triumphant Tuesday night press conference.
In the surveillance footage, the suspect is seen springing from a white van, carrying what police said was a knife, to grab the child, who was playing with a “blue slime” toy in a grassy median.
In a span of less than ten seconds, the girl resisted the attempted abductor’s efforts to tackle and grab her, and he ran back to his van and fled, video showed.
“She fought and she fought and she fought, until finally she was able to break free from her would-be captor,” Sheriff Chip Simmons said.
Simmons inundated the area with all of his department’s manpower — 50 deputies — and sheriffs tracked down the suspect less than eight hours later, police said.The pervert had painted his van in an effort to disguise it following local media reports, but still had “blue slime” on his clothes from wrestling with the child, according to officials.
He’s facing charges of attempted kidnapping, aggravated assault with a knife and simple battery, police said. His “extensive” criminal past includes child sex abuse charges, according to sheriffs.
Officials did not release his name out of fear of jeopardizing other related investigations, according to Simmons. He had approached his target two weeks ago and made her feel uncomfortable, the sheriff said.
“He will never be free to do this again,” Simmons said. “Our concern was this wasn’t his first try.”
The brave young girl escaped with some scratches and minor trauma, officials said at the press conference.
“My message to her is that is my hero, she did not give up,” Simmons said.