Mariska Hargitay surprised a young fan of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit whose quick thinking helped identify her would-be kidnapper. On Tuesday morning, 11-year-old Alyssa Bonal was waiting for the bus and playing with homemade slime when a man holding a knife emerged from a car and tried to abduct her. In a moment captured on video, Alyssa managed to fight off her attacker, but not before purposely smearing some slime on him.
"I knew that that might be better evidence if the cops do find him," the would-be kidnapping victim told Today on Thursday, adding that she regularly watches Law & Order: SVU with her mother.
Alyssa's efforts did help police positively identify the attempted kidnapper, as the suspect still had the blue slime covering his arms when he was caught soon after. On Friday, the young girl returned to the Today show where she explained that watching Law & Order was how she knew to leave evidence behind. That's when she was surprised with a special appearance from Hargitay, who was just as excited to meet Alyssa.
"I'm so incredibly honored to meet you," Mariska Hargitay told the 11-year-old. "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, and I am just blown away."
Knowing how much Alyssa watches the show, Hargitay also gifted her with a signed SVU episode script along with the message, "You are my hero." The actress then added, "You're amazing, sweetheart. You're amazing. And strong and brave. And what's most important to everyone is that you're okay, and that is the most beautiful gift that we all have."
"It's amazing to meet you," Alyssa responded. "I never thought in my whole entire life that I was going to be able to even meet you."
Hargitay also took to Instagram to pay tribute to her young fan. Posting an image of the Today news, Hargitay wrote: "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."
The SVU star added: "I think the SVU squad might have to add slime to their crimefighting gear! Take good care of yourself and each other. With all my love, your number one fan, Mariska."
Since 1999, Hargitay has been playing fan favorite character Olivia Benson on the popular Law & Order spinoff series Law & Order: SVU. Winning an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress for the role, Hargitay still appears every week on the award-winning series with the show now in the midst of its 22nd season. There's plenty more to come as well, as the series has already been renewed through season 24.
Benson's old partner Elliot Stabler has also recently returned to the force. After reprisnig the role for a special crossover event on SVU, Meloni now stars in his own spinoff series Law & Order: Organized Crime. That series has also been renewed for a second season after premiering just last month. This news comes to us from Today.