Mariska Hargitay praises 'brave' 11-year-old who thwarted abduction attempt using SVU skills
Law and Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay is praising an alert 11-year-old fan of the long-running NBC show who defended herself against an alleged kidnapping attempt — and used inspiration from the series to help give police a way to identify the suspect.
"Alyssa, first and most important, I am so relieved and grateful to know that you are safe," Hargitay wrote on Instagram after seeing the girl's story on the Today show Thursday. "And I am so honored to be part of your incredible story. You are one BRAVE, Strong and Smart young woman."
The preteen, who hails from Florida, can be seen in surveillance video released by police sitting at a bus stop. A man runs toward her, and appears to try and grab her and yank her away, but she fights back, and the man runs back to his car.
Alyssa told Today the man was carrying a knife when he came at her. The brave middle schooler amazingly had the presence of mind to wipe some of the blue slime she was playing with onto her attacker's arms — something she did purposely, inspired by watching SVU.
"She said, 'Mom, I had to leave some sort of evidence behind, like on Law & Order SVU,'" Alyssa's mother told the Pensacola News Journal. "We've watched probably every episode on Hulu. She's a smart cookie, she thinks on her toes. She got that slime everywhere."
In Hargitay's Instagram post, said she might have to borrow a tip from Alyssa and use some blue goo on the show. "I think the SVU squad might have to add slime to their crimefighting gear!" she wrote. "Take good care of yourself and each other. With all my love, your number one fan, Mariska."
Before the actress' Instagram post, Today asked Alyssa what she thought Hargitay's character, Capt. Olivia Benson, might say if she saw her story. "Probably 'You're brave,' and 'Good job,'" she responded.
According to reports, police found the suspect a few hours after the incident, and he was taken into custody Tuesday. The suspect has been charged with attempted kidnapping of a child under 13, as well as aggravated assault and battery.