Alyssa Bonal fought off a kidnapper earlier this week — and used some quick thinking to help police catch and identify him

By Ally Mauch
May 21, 2021 01:50 PM
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Alyssa Bonal, Mariska Hargitay
Credit: Today; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

Mariska Hargitay surprised a fan whose binge-watching of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit helped her fend off an attacker this week.  

Alyssa Bonal, 11, of Pensacola, Fla., was waiting for the bus Tuesday morning, playing with some homemade slime, when a man with a knife pulled his car over and started running toward her. She was able to get away, but not before smearing her slime on the man to help police identify and arrest him.

"I knew that that might be better evidence if the cops do find him," Alyssa said during an appearance on Today Thursday, noting that she and her mom watch SVU.

The next day, Alyssa again appeared on Today, but this time got to virtually meet Hargitay, who has played Detective Olivia Benson on the crime drama for 22 seasons.

"I'm so incredibly honored to meet you," the actress told Alyssa.

Law and Order SVU
Mariska Hargitay as Olivia Benson on Law & Order: SVU
| Credit: Virginia Sherwood/NBC

"I just want to tell you how blown away me and all of my squad are, and I think the whole world right now, that you had the forethought and the wherewithal to do what you did," she continued, later giving Alyssa an autographed script from the show with the message, "You are my hero."

"You're amazing, sweetheart. You're amazing. And strong and brave," Hargitay said. "And what's most important to everyone is that you're okay, and that is the most beautiful gift that we all have."

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Alyssa told Hargitay, 57, that she "never thought" she would ever get to meet her. 

"It's amazing to meet you," she said. "I never thought in my whole entire life that I was going to be able to even meet you."

When asked what her character, Benson, would say to Alyssa, Hargitay replied: "Would you like to be on my squad?" 

The SVU star also honored the young fan on her Instagram page Thursday, writing, "Alyssa, first and most important, I am so relieved and grateful to know that you are safe. And I am so honored to be part of your incredible story. You are one BRAVE, Strong and Smart young woman."

"I think the SVU squad might have to add slime to their crimefighting gear!" she continued. Take good care of yourself and each other. With all my love, your number one fan, Mariska."