11-year-old Alyssa Bonal used tactics from Law & Order: SVU to help catch a man who attempted to kidnap her while she was waiting for the school bus.
An 11-year-old girl from Florida helped law enforcement apprehend her attempted kidnapper by using a trick she learned from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Law & Order: SVU, as it is more commonly known, originally premiered as the first spin-off to the classic law procedural Law & Order in 1999 and is still airing to this day, over two decades and 500 episodes later. The show is incredibly popular, its undying fanbase leading it to be the longest-running U.S. primetime live-action scripted series in the history of television.
SVU, of course, follows a fictionalized New York City Police Department’s Special Victims Unit, led by Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay). Generally, the SVU team handles crimes involving sexual assault victims or victims who require particular attention, such as young children, the elderly, or the disabled. The show also notably starred Christopher Meloni as Benson’s partner and lead detective Elliot Stabler until Meloni departed in 2011. Meloni returned to Law & Order franchise earlier this year with his own spinoff, Organized Crime. SVU also starred some notable names over the years including Richard Belzer, BD Wong, and Ice-T, who is currently on the show in his 21st season. The procedural has provided audiences with tips and tricks (and likely some nightmares) for decades about how to deal with potential assailants.
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As reported by Deadline, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit gave Alyssa Bonal, an 11-year-old girl from Orlando, Florida, a survival tip on how to help law enforcement apprehend her would-be kidnapper. Bonal, who was playing with blue slime while waiting for her school bus, was nearly kidnapped by an assailant with a knife. Thankfully, Bonal was able to fight him off and run away, but not before she made sure to mark him with blue slime so he could be identified—a trick she learned from SVU. Her assailant was captured and positively identified by the blue dye on his arms from Bonal’s smart thinking. Her mother, Amber Bonal, revealed the connection between her daughter’s actions and the television show in a comment to the Pensacola News Journal:
“She said, ‘Mom, I had to leave some sort of evidence behind like on Law & Order SVU.’ We’ve watched probably every episode on Hulu. She’s a smart cookie, she thinks on her toes. She got that slime everywhere.”
Alyssa Bonal’s courageous news eventually reached the precinct of the Special Victims Unit itself. After the news broke, Hargitay made a public statement of support on her social media. Hargitay, who has portrayed the leading lady on SVU for the entirety of the show’s run, expressed relief that Bonal was safe. Hargitay also commended the 11-year-old girl for being strong, brave, and smart, adding, “I think the SVU squad might have to add slime to their crimefighting gear!” Hargitay ends the message by naming herself Bonal’s number one fan.
Though many law, crime, and (especially) medical procedurals come under fire for being somewhat inaccurate, it is amazing to hear that Law & Order: Special Victims Unit was able to help a real-life potential victim. Though the topics may be hard for children to hear or watch, Alyssa Bonal’s story goes to show that it is important for everyone, of all ages, to know how self-defense, investigations, and the law work, so they can utilize everything in their power to remain safe and to bring dangerous people to justice.
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