US girl fights off knife-wielding sex offender during attempted abduction

An 11-year-old girl in Florida has fought off a knife-wielding sex offender who tried to abduct her at a bus stop. 

The incident occurred around 7am in Pensacola on Tuesday (local time). 

CCTV footage shows a man jumping from a white Dodge Journey and attempting to grab the girl - who was playing in the grass with a toy. 

The man tackled her and picked her up but she managed to fight him off and run away. He then fled the scene. 

Escambia County Sheriffs arrested Jared Paul Stanga, 30, eight hours later after 50 deputies were deployed to find him. 

"We have caught the animal," Sheriff Chip Simmons said at a news conference. 

He said deputies scoured surveillance footage and talked to witnesses to find him quickly. 

"We understand that we only had a short period of time. We wanted to make sure they didn't ditch this van, they didn't leave town."

When deputies arrested Stanga he allegedly had blue slime from the toy the girl was playing with on his arms. 

He was also wearing the same clothes as the man in the video and had a similar car, though his bumper was freshly painted. 

He was charged with attempted kidnapping, aggravated assault with a knife and simple battery. Police say he has previous child sex abuse charges. 

Simmons said the young girl was a "hero". 

"She fought and she fought and she fought until finally she was able to break free from her would-be captor."

He said the man approached the same girl two weeks early and made her uncomfortable. 

"He will never be free to do this again. Our concern was this wasn't his first try.

"My message to her is that is my hero, she did not give up."